Brooklyn, NY, June 07, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- On June 11, 2011 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 the South east 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 will showcase Indian cultural and spiritual performances by professional artists and local community groups. Of note, there will be traditional Indian music (kirtans) performances by up and coming Kirtan artists – As Kindred Spirits, and the Mayapuris. In addition, the performance schedule includes Bharat-natyam dance performances by Anapayini Dasi and Bhakti-kalalayam dance school, from Alachua, FL, as well as a drama performances, performed by local Hare Krishna actors. There will be displays of traditional Indian handicrafts 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 Jagannatha (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.
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