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Sunday, December 31st, 2023

City Hall, Toronto

There is always great anticipation at the final minutes of a year's end. People all over the globe have their different approaches to summing up and putting a closure to the previous 365 days of one's life. For those on the devotional path, chanting the greatest of mantras is the way to say "goodbye" and "hello" at the same time.

For 31 years, the Toronto Krishnas have been converging in front of Old City Hall, a major juncture point in the heart of downtown. The subway commuter system operates for free so that lovers of good cheer can make the party an annual reality on the largest scale.

With marching drums harnessed by an eager Gabriel, and an equally enthusiastic Nirmala, mallets were poised to make those strikes like heartbeats. That beating just does everything for the singing and dancing expected to open a new year. Everyone goes wild, and that too, under the wettest snow.

Snow is never a problem, nor is cold (in our context, this evening it's only 0º), but rain is, when it goes full throttle. Drizzle is also no issue. So, our group of bliss boys and girls grasped the joy that is theirs. After all the chanting is for souls which brings out inner peace, unlike the temporary stimulus. If anything, the silly chilliness was an added feature giving us strength, physically. The whole package deal is so good, so wholesome. It makes for starting the New Year cheer a deep reality.

6 km

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