There are lots of festivals in Manchester, but trust us when we say that the Festival of India – Ratha Yatra is one you would NOT want to miss!
The date is Sunday, 26 May 2019 12-6pm
Chariot Parade: 12:30-2pm
Festival of India : 2-6pm
The incredibly diverse city of Manchester is filled with local and international visitors all year round and they all are welcome to join.
This event – going back to the ancient festival in Jagannatha Puri, India – is called “Ratha Yatra” (Festival of the Chariots).
For us at ISKCON Manchester this festival is one of the highlight of the year. This festival has existed for millennia in India, and since 1967, through the efforts of Srila Prabhupada has been celebrated worldwide.
The festivals starts at noon at Cathedral Garden. There you will see how guests of honour hold coconuts in front of the chariot that are smashed on the ground to remove all obstacles and thus create an auspicious atmosphere. Then, many of those present take the ropes attached to the chariot, and proceed to pull the chariot towards Deansgate. This is the only time when the three deities Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra ride on a chariot on the streets of Manchester.
The people chant and dance together in a joyous mood. The procession will return by 2pm to Cathedral Gardens. There will be a stage programme with dance, music and many other things. Next to the stage, a vegetarian feast is distributed to the hungry participants, while at the side, people can enjoy a variation of books, gift items, sweets and even henna painting and an opportunity to try a saree on.
This Jagannath Ratha Yatra is a festival of happiness, spirituality, and peace. It’s definitely something you would want to see and experience at least once in your life.
For details and more information about ISKCON Manchester (commonly known the Hare Krishnas), please visit www.iskconmanchester.com
Looking forward to see you and your family on the 26th of May at Manchester Cathedral Gardens.