The Janmashtami festival was celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm here at the BAPS Palm Beach Mandir (West Palm Beach - Miami). The celebration consisted of two events: Krishna Janmotsav and Janmashtami Samaiyo Sabha. Krishna Janmotsav was celebrated on August 31, 2002, at the mandir in presence of more than 400 devotees. A special program of Kirtan-Bhakti was arranged to celebrate the janmotsav. At 12 midnight, the Janmotsav aarti was performed. Soon after Yuvak mandal sang "Nand gher anand bhayo...." and "Sona na Bor Zule Nandkishor.." while all devotees took "Laabh" of swinging Lord Krishna in the cradle.
The Samaiyo Sabha was held on 1 September. Murtis of Shri Akshar Purushottam Maharaj and Shri Radha-Krishna Dev were adorned with beautiful traditional attire and ornaments. A nicely decorated annakut was arranged to mark the occassion. The special attraction of the event was a beautifully crafted model depicting Mathura, Gokul and river Yamuna flowing in the middle with Shri Vasudev holding Lord Krishna in a bucket on his head. Miniature houses, trees, animals, a palace, a "chandarvo" (to indicate night time), a jail and a mandir were made and arranged to mark the occassion. The local Yuvak and Kishore Mandals put in a great effort to make this.
During the samaiyo sabha, a Kirtan Aradhana was performed. Two short speeches on Bhaktiyog as explained by Lord Krishna in Bhagvad Geeta and Shreeji Maharaj's Lila Charitra on Janmashtami Celebrations were given. A short video of Murti Darshan on the Palm Beach Mandir was shown. Bal Mandal and Kishore Mandal also participated in a special program of "Matki Fod". A "Matki" was set outside the mandir at about 20 feet above the ground and Balaks and Kishores formed a pyramid to break the "Matki". About 600 devotees attended the sabha and enjoyed the mahaprasad at the end.