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