A SWISH of colour and much chanting formed a big part of a Hari Krishna wedding held recently near Murwillumbah.
For colour and joy a wedding at a Hari Krishna farm community would have to take the chapati.
Two Krishna followers "tied the knot" at the New Govardhana community at Eungella.
The groom Madhav Vendra Puri Dasi (Maddy Jean-Claude Durr) married Mandakini Dasi (Nicole Durr) and, despite the names, they are locals, with their parents also members of the community.
"This is the civil part of the wedding," said community member Urvasi Devi Dasi.
"As you can imagine, a wedding is a huge milestone in the Indian culture.
"They have huge celebrations that include fire sacrifices to the gods.
"The couple will continue celebrations in India."
The "Yajna" festival marks a wedding and in India the celebrations can last for days.
The New Govardhana community rents out space for Indian celebrations several times a year.
"They place a lot of importance on lavish weddings," Urvasi said.
The community houses 80 residents and they are presently celebrating the swing festival the Jhulana Yatra, when deities are taken from the altar and placed on a swing.
The swing is highly decorated and members and visitors rock the swing for their lord Krishna as thanks for their daily bread.
In India at this time of year, it is monsoon season.
"It's warmer there, so the swing is a way of cooling down," Urvasi said.
DID YOU KNOW?
Krishna is a Hindu deity, worshipped as an avatar of the preserver-god, Vishnu.
Krishna is often described and portrayed as an infant or young boy playing a flute, as in the Bhagavata Purana, or as a youthful prince giving direction and guidance as in the Bhagavad Gita.
The stories of Krishna appear across a broad spectrum of Hindu philosophical and theological traditions.
They portray him in various perspectives: a god-child, a prankster, a model lover, a divine hero and the Supreme Being.
The principal scriptures discussing Krishna's story are the Mahabharata, the Harivamsa, the Bhagavata Purana and the Vishnu Purana.
Worship of a deity of Krishna, either in the form of Vasudeva, Bala Krishna or Gopala, can be traced to as early as 4th century BC.
Krishna had a total of 16,108 wives, out of which eight were his princely wives and 16,100 were rescued from Narakasura, who had forcibly kept them in his harem.
After Krishna killed Narkasura he rescued these 16,100 women and freed them, but all of them returned to him saying that they had been raped by Narkasura repeatedly and now neither their family will accept them nor will any one marry them, thus leaving them homeless.
Out of compassion Krishna decided to give them shelter in a new palace, but, so people did not take it the wrong way, and also to give them a respectful place in society, he decided to marry all of them.
Krishna did get married to all of them but never had sexual relations with any.