Ashrita Furman and a team of 170 friends from 35 countries including France, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Portugal and Russia, made the world’s longest flower garland dedicated to the 80th Birth Anniversary of peace visionary Sri Chinmoy. The team created the 2.15 miles (3.46 km) flower string, which consists of 80,000 carnations of various colours, around Meadow Lake in Flushing Meadow-Corona Park. The supersized garland, which encircled the necks of his 170 team members standing around the lake, ensures Ashrita Furman a new entry into the Guinness Book of Records. The previous record of a 1.6 mile (2.574 km) garland was set by a group in Tahiti. Ashrita Furman, a 56-year-old health food store manager from Queens, New York currently holds 132 Guinness World Records, including the official record for “the most records held at the same time by an individual”. For two month Furman has been working with flower farms in South America and gathering a team from all over the world to put the garland together. The 80,000 carnations were flown in from Colombia to the Miami airport and then were transported to Flushing Meadow-Corona Park in a refrigerated truck. Furman and his team worked in the park from 7 am until 13 pm to create the longest garland of the world.
Ashrita Furman states: “My friends and I have a tradition to express our gratitude to Sri Chinmoy as he inspires us to discover inner peace, joy and strength through meditation. On the occasion of Sri Chinmoy’s 80th birthday anniversary we wanted to do something special. The huge garland expresses the deep gratitude we feel. There was an great feeling of oneness and harmony because people from 35 countries were connected by the garland in a circle symbolising planet earth.” Ashrita has been breaking Guinness World Records since 1979. He achieved his first entry in the Guinness Book by completing 27,000 jumping jacks. Since then he has broken 357 records on all seven continents, including racing against a yak in Mongolia to set the mile sack-racing record, doing underwater Aqua Pogo for 3 hours 40 minutes in the Amazon River in Peru and bouncing the fastest mile on a kangaroo ball along the Great Wall of China.