On Saturday, the 6 th of August, Zagreb will come alive with sound and colour as the 'Ratha Yatra,' the ancient Indian Festival of Chariots, makes its way to the city.
Beautifully decorated and painted in vibrant colours, an exotic wooden chariot will be pulled by hand from the European Square via the Ban Jelačić Square to the Zrinjevac Park, as part of the city's biggest street festival in 2016, hosted by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in cooperation with the Indian Embassy, and supported by other organizations.
Visitors will be able to follow the procession and enjoy the cultural programme at the Ban Jelačić's Square and Zrinjevac Park, comprising of traditional Indian dance and music, accompanied with special instruments and singing of bhajanas.
In more than 500 cities around the globe, every year, hundreds of local people and tourists line the routes of the chariots, which carry the deities of Lord Jagannatha, Lord Baladeva and Lady Subhadra in a grand procession accompanied by a festive display of music, singing, dancing and jubilant chanting. Jaganatha means ‘Lord of Universe', as his charming smile and large swimming eyes evoke joy and hope in the hearts of the spectators.
‘Ratha Yatra' was first celebrated in the city of Jagannatha Puri in India over 2,000 years ago and was brought to the west by A.C.Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON, in San Francisco in 1967. Today, the global celebration of this cultural event has transformed it into a cross-boundary experience, transcending the frontiers of religion.
This year, for the first time in history, we will have the ‘Ratha Yatra,' the Festival of Chariots, pass through downtown Zagreb. The Festival will commence at 5pm from the European Square with a traditional opening ceremony and end at 8PM in Zrinjevac Park with a vibrant cultural program. There will be an enroute halt at the historic Ban Jelačić Square.
We invite you to seize this historic opportunity to join us on this festive occasion of singing and dancing! ALL are welcome!