Appearance of Lord Chaitanya

Gaura Purnima marks the appearance day of Lord Chaitanya. After Janmashtami, Gaura Purnima is the most important festival for Vaishnavas who follow the teachings of Lord Chaitanya. Gaura (golden) refers both to the golden complexion of Lord Chaitanya and to the golden hue of the purnima (full moon) under which Lord Chaitanya appeared.

Narottam Das Thakur, a great devotee of Lord Chaitanya inaugurated the first Gaura Purnima festival after the disappearance of the Lord, in Kheturi gram, Bengal.In the ISKCON Mayapur temple, near Lord Chaitanya’s birthplace, the festivities extend over a month and devotees come from different countries to participate in the spiritual, cultural and educational events organised.

In Mauritius, this grand event is celebrated with an evening festival of lecture, drama and wonderful kirtan. Kirtan is the loud chanting of the maha-mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare taught by Lord Chaitanya as the easiest yoga process for the age we live in. A sumptuous feast is served after the programme and Lord Chaitanya’s birthday cake is distributed to all those present.

This festival takes place in March/April and signals the beginning of the Vaishnava calendar. Devotees fast until moonrise.