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 <<CityNews Main Send Flowers to India!

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New York

Annual Krishna Parade & Festival on NY's Fifth Avenue

On June 10, 2006 the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) will present its 31st annual Ratha Yatra (Festival of the Chariots) Parade down Fifth Avenue. The procession of 3 colorful chariots begins promptly at 12:00PM from the Doris C. Freedman Plaza at 59th Street and 5th Avenue and proceeds down Fifth Avenue, to Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. From 2pm until 7pm the celebration continues in the park with the Festival of India, a traveling exhibition of 
India’s spirituality and culture. 

Activities include traditional Indian music (bhajans), Bharata-Natyam and Odissi dances, and a spectacular dramatic rendition of the Ramayana, one of India’s most beloved epics. There will be displays of Indian handicrafts and books on mysticism and bhakti-yoga. Visitors can explore the varied 
spiritual and cultural exhibitions, and enjoy a complimentary multi-course vegetarian feast. The public is welcome and admission is free. 

The festival of Ratha Yatra has been celebrated since ancient times, as one of the most important yearly events in the Vaishnava-Hindu faith. Vaishnavism, the worship of Lord Krishna, is one of the principle  branches within the broad Hindu tradition. Vaishnavas are monotheists, and believe Lord Krishna to be the same God worshipped by Christians, Jews and Muslims. 

In Jagannath Puri, India, the deity worshipped in the main temple is an image of Lord Krishna, and is called Jagannath (which means “Lord of the Universe”). He is worshipped along with his brother, Balarama, and sister, Subhadra, in the central shrine. Every summer, at the beginning of the monsoon season, the three (3) deities are taken out of the temple amidst great fanfare, and are placed on bright and colorful chariots. Almost a million worshippers throng to the city and pull the chariots with love and devotion, accompanied by joyful music, religious chants, and dancing. 

In 1976 A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the worldwide Hare Krishna Movement inaugurated the New York City version of this ancient Indian parade. Since then, it has been celebrated annually and has become a New York summer tradition. This festival blends the splendor of a 
millennia-old celebration with the excitement of a parade down New York’s world famous Fifth Avenue. 

Don’t miss this event as thousands of people, from various walks of life bring the best of the East and West together in a demonstration of universal peace, harmony and goodwill. For more information please

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