Those who know little of the ancient Vedic culture of India should be prepared for an awakening when the UCSB Bhakti-Yoga Club presents the 8th annual Festival of India, a hands-on exposure to the food, music and history of an ancient way of life.

The festival is scheduled to take place today at Storke Plaza from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is open to the public. It will feature live music and several tents presenting different aspects of Vedic culture.

“We want to expose students, staff and faculty to the philosophy and customs of the ancient Vedic culture of India, which is very spiritually minded and dedicated to the cultivation of higher values and noble pursuits such as humility and tolerance,” club founder Sarvatma Das said.

One tent featured at the event is the Vedic Museum and will display cultural artifacts such as pottery, weaponry, musical instruments and art. The Bhakti-Yoga Club will be selling vegetarian food.

The club meets weekly to chant and read Vedic scripture. Das hosts a show called “Point Blank” on KCSB, during which he reads Vedic scripture and literature in an effort to spread the word about the club.

Vedism is a polytheistic religion that was brought to India in 1500 B.C. Das said upholding moral values and elevating oneself spiritually is essential to the Vedic culture.