The Festival of Chariots AKA Rath Yatra


    By Sai Hansika Chenna

    Hare Krishna Melbourne (ISKCON) was back again this year with the annual Festival of Chariots (RathYatra) at the St Kilda Festival Sunday continuing the 12 year old tradition. 

    The festival was a blast with tons of devotees, festival goers and others on the beautiful streets of St Kilda joining in to pull the marvellously painted, authentic wooden chariot of Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra. 

    The procession started from Catani Gardens along Jacka Boulevard to Luna Park and back and not a second was spent without ecstatically singing and joyously dancing to the Hare Krishna Mahamantra, attracting more and more onlookers towards the festival. 

    Before the parade finished, religious offerings and holy remnants of the chariot (prasadam) such as fruits offered to the Lord and flowers used to decorate the chariot were thrown out to the devotees spreading the love and mercy of Lord Jagannath. 

    After friendly competition to acquire these offertory, the procession stopped at Catani Gardens where more dancing and singing took place. Alongside this the Hare Krishna Melbourne (ISKCON) gave out tons of free watermelons which was appreciated by everyone on that hot summer day. They also hosted a family-friendly Vegetarian / Vegan Hare Krishna Food Festival where delicious and authentic Indian food was served. 

    Ultimately, it was an epic festival with lots of singing, dancing, food and laughing; a perfect way to spend time with friends, family or just yourself. 

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