South Africa - Ratha yatra
The Easter period on Durban’s Beachfront (South Africa) has become synonymous with the “Ratha-Yatra” Festival of Chariots. Having first graced the Durban shoreline in December 1988, the festival has grown from a two day event to a four day event and has relocated due to the increasing need to accommodate the over 40 exhibition and activity tents that will form part of the landscape of the former Durban Drive-In where the event will take place this Easter weekend .
Although the chariot parade has deep spiritual significance, the ethos of the festival is filled with entertainment and activities that showcase the Krishna conscious philosophy and lifestyle in an appealing and fun-filled manner. Three 15 meters high, flower bedecked chariots with colorful canopies towering above will manually be drawn by hundreds of chanting and dancing devotees. The chariot parade on Friday and comes to rest at the festival grounds.
On Monday at 5pm, the chariots will be draped with thousands of twinkling fairy lights and pulled from the festival for a 2 hour journey through the Durban beachfront and back.
The presiding deities of the festival, Their Lordships Jagannatha, Baladeva and Subhadra will be worshipped in an elaborate replica of a temple and visitors will have the opportunity to participate in such worship. There will be non-stop cultural entertainment featuring popular local and international artistes, including Bharata Natyam dancers from Russia, Hatha yoga practitioners from Ukraine, Martial Arts expert from Estonia, musicians and singers from India, Kazakhstan, America and Mauritius.