Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Stan Greene
Observer Staff Writer 

Festival of the Chariots Brings South Asian Color to Main Street in SM/Venice

The Festival of the Chariots is based on an ancient annual festival in the holy town of Jagannatha Puri

 

August 15, 2019

Mary Leipziger

Festival of the Chariots, August 4, 2019 on Main Street in Santa Monica

International Society for Krishna Consciousness sponsored the 43rd Annual Festival of Chariots, in Santa Monica and Venice last Sunday, August 4th.

Mary Leipziger

Festival of the Chariots, August 4, 2019 on Main Street in Santa Monica

"The Festival of the Chariots is based on an ancient annual festival in the holy town of Jagannatha Puri. Every year in India the festival attracts over one million pilgrims. It is second only to Kumbha Mela, the largest gathering of humanity on Earth. The crowds participate by hand pulling the chariots with maximum thickness jute ropes. " said ISKCON in a press release."

"The Festival of the Chariots is sometimes referred to Ratha Yatra which originated 5,000 years ago in India. The tradition was brought to the West in 1967 by Swami Prabhupada."

"Today it is celebrated in most major cities of the world, including London, Moscow, Toronto, Johannesburg, Delhi and New York. The local Los Angeles version attracts approximately 40,000 parade and festival participants," said Radha-Krishna Das, a group spokesman.

The parade started from Santa Monica Auditorium at 1855 Main Street, and arrives to the festival site, Ocean Front Walk Plaza off of Windward Ave in Venice.

 

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