Jun 05, 2014 NEW YORK, NY (SUN) 39th Annual Hare Krishna Festival of the Chariots Fifth Avenue Parade and Festival of India at Washington Square Park Saturday June 14, 2014, 12 p.m. - 7 p.m. Free Event, All are invited.
What: Ratha Yatra (Festival of the Chariots), one of India's most ancient and most popular festivals, a sacred day for Hindus worldwide, will be celebrated with a parade down New York's Fifth Avenue, from 45th Street to West 8th Street. The parade will culminate in a festival and free vegetarian feast until 7:00 p.m. at Washington Square Park.
All are welcome and admission is free.
When: Saturday June 14, 2014 12 p.m. until 7 p.m.
Where: Fifth Avenue from 45th Street to Washington Square Park.
Who: Thousands of Indian and American members, guests, and spectators from the greater New York Metropolitan area.
Special: Very Visual event with (3) colorful floats, traditional costumes, performances of classical Indian music, dance and dramas, Vaishnava Hindu rituals, activities for kids, and a free vegetarian feast served to approximately 10,000 people.
On June 14, 2014 the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) will present their jubilant annual Ratha Yatra (Festival of the Chariots) Parade down Fifth Avenue. The procession of colorful chariots begins promptly at 12:00PM from corner of 45th 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.
The festival site features a main stage, showcasing Indian cultural and spiritual performances by professional artists and local community groups. Of note, there will be traditional Indian music (bhajans) performances, Bharat-natyam (classical Indian dance) performances by Anapayini Dasi and Bhakti-kalalayam dance school, from Alachua, FL, and dramatic performances performed by local Hare Krishna actors. There will be displays of traditional Indian handicrafts, children's activities, and books on 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.
Ratha Yatra Festival, Background:
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 worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
In Jagannath Puri, the deity worshiped in the main temple is an image of Lord Krishna, and is called Jagannath (which means "Lord of the Universe"). He is worshiped along with his brother, Balarama, and sister, Subhadra, in the main 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 worshipers 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 visit our website: