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