MEN in orange robes, hypnotic chanting and vegetarian Indian food it can only mean one thing.

The Hare Krishnas, those perpetually happy, tambourine-shaking God-worshippers that you bump into at Glastonbury at four in the morning and have discussions about "the meaning of it all" descended on Ealing Town Hall last Thursday for the annual Hare Krishna Festival UK.

People enjoyed the contemporary Nitai Dance Company and heard anecdotes demonstrating the relevance of ancient Indian wisdom and culture by drama group the Bhaktivedanta Players.

The highlight of the evening was, unsurprisingly, the music. Lyrics to the traditional Indian mantra sounds and chants, were displayed on an overhead projector for people to sing along to.

One of the organisers, Kirti Butkovic, a pharmacist by day who has been a Hare Krishna since she was 17, said: It was packed out. There were about 350 people there lots for the first time. Everyone loved the chanting the crowd wouldn't let them stop. It was very energetic but peaceful at the same time."

The theme of the festival was called Changing Bodies and included a philosophical talk by Harvard graduate and monk of 30 years Devamrita Swami.

The Hare Krishna movement began about 500 years ago. Its inaugurator, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, the 16th-century mystic, is believed by followers to be the Supreme God Himself.

The Hare Krishna's main temple is called the Bhaktivedanta manor and is in Watford. It was donated in 1973 by George Harrison. George Harrison and John Lennon once chanted Hare Krishna for 17 hours with one of the movement's leading figures, Shrila Prabhupada, on a car journey from France to Portugal.

In 1970 George produced the Radha Krishna Temple album. It included the track My Sweet Lord which featured the Hare Krishna mantra in the chorus.