Lord's festival around the world

Rath yatra will be celebrated in Odisha on Sunday, but the festivities associated with it in other countries have already begun.

By ANWESHA AMBALY
  • Published 25.06.17
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Devotees shield themselves from the rain that lashed Puri on the day of Nabajauban darshan on Saturday. Picture by Sarat Kumar Patra

Rath yatra will be celebrated in Odisha on Sunday, but the festivities associated with it in other countries have already begun.

Hundreds of people took part in the rath yatra hosted in New York city on June 10. Rituals similar to the main festival in Puri were held, following which a parade was started at Fifth Avenue.

The parade continued till Washington Square Park on the campus of New York University.

A event titled Festival of India was hosted at Washington Square Park, where visitors enjoyed a vegetarian feast prepared by the devotees of Lord Krishna. Festivities also included performances of Bharatnatyam, bhajans and kirtans.

"I belong to Rourkela and it is not possible for us to travel to Puri every year. But we make sure that we celebrate it here," said Akanksha Mohapatra, a 28-year-old engineer residing in New York City.

Rath yatra will also be held at other places this month. The Birmingham rath yatra, which is in its 17th edition this year, will be hosted on July 23.

The chariot will go from Victoria Square to City Centre and come back again. The festival was also hosted on the Daytona beach in Florida on May 28.

"It is not possible for us to celebrate the festival on the day of rath yatra as there are holiday and permission issues from the authorities. So, we select a convenient date and host the event," said Banikalyan Swain, a teacher at a university in the state.

The past four decades have witnessed rath yatra blossom into one of Toronto's most head-turning events.

Called the Annual Festival of India, which is in its 45th edition this year, the event will be hosted on July 15 and 16.