Lord JagannathFestival of Chariots


Durban's Ratha-yatra (Festival of Chariots) is reputed for being the biggest festival of its kind outside of India.  The event which originally began as a two day event over Christmas weekend grew so rapidly and drew such large crowds that over the years it now spans four days and has had to be moved to Easter weekend to accommodate its large number of visitors.  The free cultural festival, now in its 21st year, hosted by the Hare Krishna movement, boasts a variety of activities and fun for the whole family whilst it simultaneously serves a deep spiritual purpose.The festival expects to attract over 250 000 visitors this year and each guest shall be treated to a sumptuous free vegetarian meal.  Admission is free.

On Friday, at mid-day the festival will commence with a maha agnihotra (fire sacrifice).  This will be followed by a special harinam (street parade) of chanting and dancing devotees.  At 6pm that evening, an official opening ceremony comprising of an abhishek (bathing ceremony) of a 2,5metre high deity of Lord Caitanya (the incarnation of Lord Krishna who propogated the chanting of the Hare Krishna maha mantra as the mode of salvation in this age).  Vast quantities of auspicious items such as milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee and fruit juices shall be poured from above, flowing over the deity and then collected for distribution. The Consul General of India, Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla shall speak as the Guest of Honour at the ceremony. <read more...>
For further information contact Champakalata dasi on 082 824 2203.
Email: champakalata@telkomsa.net

Durban, North Beach: April 10-13
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What is the Festival
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History of Ratha Yatra in KwaZulu Natal




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