MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
Regular-article-logo Friday, 31 May 2024

Tug of faith across globe

Rath yatra has emerged as a major global festival with the spread in devotion for Lord Jagannath. The festival will be celebrated in Odisha on Saturday, but the festivities have already begun in several countries.

ANWESHA AMBALY Published 14.07.18, 12:00 AM
Artistes perform during rath yatra in Paris. Telegraph picture

Bhubaneswar: Rath yatra has emerged as a major global festival with the spread in devotion for Lord Jagannath. The festival will be celebrated in Odisha on Saturday, but the festivities have already begun in several countries.

Organised by International Movement for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon), the car festival in Paris entered its 30th year this time.

The parade held on July 8 celebrated the "spirit of tolerance between communities, races and religions" in the name of Lord Jagannath. Accompanied with song and dance sequences, the chariot carrying the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra were flanked by devotees.

French-Odissi danseuse Mahina Khanum, known for her innovative methods of infusing classical dance forms with technological tools amongst the international audience, performed with on the occasion.

Prior to the parade, she also conducted a three-day Odissi introductory and intermediary workshop in Paris.

"The beginner's workshop was an introduction to Odissi dance focusing on poses of alasa kanyas (female statues) from temples in Odisha temples," said Mahina. Around 50 students took part in the workshop. A cultural evening was also held on the concluding day where the recitals were staged.

The festival will also be celebrated at various locations across the country, including Ahmedabad, Gurgaon and Calcutta.

The first chariot festival outside India was held on July 9, 1967, in San Francisco and now parades are held in major cities all over the world including Canada, Miami, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Leicester, Singapore and Stockholm.

Every year on rath yatra, the streets of Czech capital, Prague, are dotted with devotees who pull a 40ft-high chariot carrying the idols of the Trinity. This crowd is joined by a procession of singers, musicians and dancers.

The past four decades have witnessed the Festival of India blossom into one of Toronto's most dazzling, head-turning summer events. The 46th Annual Festival of India will take place on July 14 and 15.

The event will begin with a euphoric parade down world-famous Yonge Street - beginning at Bloor and continuing south to Queens Quay. The celebrations then will shift to Toronto Centre Island for two days of festivities.

Rath yatra first arrived at the Durban shoreline in 1988 and is celebrated vibrantly ever since. Besides the usual chariot parade, many other cultural activities featuring local and international artistes grace this spiritual day.

The festival will also be hosted on Daytona Beach in Florida on September 1. Decorated in bright coloured flowers, the Lord along with his siblings would be taken on a ride in the chariots on the beach by hundreds of followers.

The festival will also be held in lesser-known places like Vladimir, Zambia and Dnepropetovsk in Ukraine by Iskcon and Odia and Indian associations.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT