Annakut festival was celebrated
on a grand scale at the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Durban on
Sunday 26 October 2003. Many weeks of preparation resulted in
a special invitation to the public and a stunning decor in the
mandir. The mandir was beautifully decorated in white and purple
drapes complemented with colorful lighting.
The first arti of the New Year was performed at 7 a.m. and was
attended by more than 200 devotees. The annakut stands were overflowing
with more than 700 items of savory vegetarian dishes, including
Italian, Mexican and local specialties. For the first time in
South Africa in the form of an annakut to God so many vegetarian
dishes were offered.
The Mahila Mandal worked through the night in order to prepare
all of the dishes. For the first time members of Bal, Balika and
Vadil Mandal also lovingly prepared dishes for the Annakut. At
12 noon, 5 thals were sung and and thereafter arti was performed
in the presence of 250 devotees.
Artis were again performed at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. and the final
arti was performed at 6 p.m.. This was followed by a one hour
satsang program attended by more than 300 people. Mahaprasad was
served thereafter and the annakut prasad was packed and distributed
together with the Mandir's New Year's calendar.