Govardhan Puja

The lifting of Govardhana Hill

When: October-November

Agenda : lecture, ceremony, kirtan and dancing, feast

An important event in the Hare Krishna calendar is “Govardhan Puja,” a festival day celebrating the glories of the holy hill of Govardhana.

At the temple on this day there will be a lecture on Krishna’s pastime of lifting Govardhan Hill in Vraja Dhama (south of New Delhi, in present day Uttar Pradesh).

We make replica of the hill from sweets and cakes and celebrate Krishna’s pastime by chanting and dancing around it! Then we distribute the sweets to all those present ! Don’t miss this party ! There will also be a grand feast at the end of the temple ceremonies.

Rath Yatra (Festival of Chariots)

When : 1st Sunday in February (the Festival Sunday of the St. Kilda Festival)

Where : Catani Gardens, St. Kilda

Agenda : Pulling the chariot to Luna Park and back (with chanting, dancing and distribution of treats), Vedic Village in Catani Gardens, including a stage programs (dance, music, drama, children’s plays), vegetarian eat-in or take-away.

The Ratha-yatra, the Festival of the Chariots, is perhaps the oldest continuously celebrated spiritual festival in the world.

As far back as human records and memory extend – to the delight of millions of joyous pilgrims – the splendidly decorated chariots of Lord Jagannatha have rolled each summer in the town of Puri (on the Bay of Bengal in India).

Their towering red-and-blue silken canopies rise into the sky as drums and cymbals resound in joyous celebrations. People both young and old, their eyes bright with excitement, sing and dance in the street as if swimming in an ocean of overwhelming happiness.

Beginning with San Francisco (USA) over forty years ago, Hare Krishna devotees have brought this tradition to the streets of cities around the world.

The first time Melbourne hosted the Festival of the Chariots was in the 1970s. Now, nearly 40 years later, we are excited to announce that this ancient celebration has returned to Melbourne as part of the famous St Kilda Festival. And you can be a part of this grand and the oldest festival too !

Please visit our dedicated website for this festival – The Festival of Chariots

Snana Yatra

The Bathing of Lord Jagganatha

When : Boxing Day, December the 26th.

Where : Hare Krishna Melbourne

Agenda : Kirtan, Ceremonies, Feast

Ratha-yatra is the festival when Lord Jagannatha, accompanied by Lord Balarama and His sister Subhadra, are taken in procession on a chariot ride. One or two weeks prior to Ratha Yatra Their Lordships enjoy a bathing festival called Snana-yatra.

Snana-yatra is a very unique festival as this is the only occasion when everyone are allowed to personally bathe the Deities. On all other occasions bathing is done by the pujaris (priests) only.

After the bathing ceremony, Lord Jagannatha apparently becomes sick. He is therefore removed to His private apartment, where no one can see Him. Actually, during this period renovations are made on the body of the Jagannatha Deity. This is called nava- yauvana. Thus for seven or fifteen days after the bathing ceremony, Lord Jagannatha is not visible to any visitors: this two-week period is called Anavasara.

Traditionally the Ratha-yatra ceremony marks the time when Lord Jagannatha once again comes before the public.