10:00 AM
August 6th, Venice Beach
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Parade Map and Directions

An Ancient Celebration!

The Festival of the Chariots is sometimes referred to as Ratha Yatra, literally meaning Chariot Festival. Ratha Yatra originated 5,000 years ago in India, on the East Coast state of Orrisa, in a city called Jagannatha Puri.

For the festivities; there are three chariots, one for each of the three deities; Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama and Lady Subhadra. The canopied chariots are decorated with flowers and balloons and are pulled with long, thick ropes by hundreds of people who ecstatically dance while chanting sacred mantras.

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An Ancient Tradition becomes a Westside tradition.

The inspiration to inaugurate the Festival of the Chariots was sparked in simple circumstances. Malati devi brought to Srila Prabhupada, the founder of the Hare Krishna movement, a small wooden figure from a San Francisco import store.The figure had a wide smile and round, affectionate looking eyes painted on it. The figure had a “made in India” sticker, and because her spiritual teacher was from India, she wanted to ask him what it was. Prabhupada recognized the carving as the traditional Deity of Lord Krishna.The Deity is carried in a huge annual chariot parade which attracts over one million pilgrims to a town on the east coast of India, Jagannatha Puri.

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“Simply by seeing the Lord on the chariot one makes advancement for stopping the repetition of birth and death.”

ISKCON Founder Acharya: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada

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