Hare Krishna Parade and Festival to take place on 5th Avenue

Massive crowds join the Rath Yatra and Festival hosted by ISKCON on Fifth Avenue. PHOTO: Courtesy ISKCON

The 48th Annual Hare Krishna Parade and Festival, also known as Ratha Yatra or Festival of Chariots, comes to New York City on Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 12:00pm to 7:00pm.n

The festival begins with Ratha Yatra, with a parade down     Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, starting at E 45th Street and concluding at Washington Square Park. Three majestic hand-pulled chariots, each soaring 50 feet high and adorned with red, yellow, and green cloth canopies, will go down the parade route.

This Hare Krishna parade is one of only five parades permitted on 5th Avenue, and usually attracts thousands of onlookers and participants, organizers said in a press release. Participants dance, and sing, playing traditional rhythmic drums and cymbals to show their devotion.

At the main festival site which is free and open to the public, in Washington Square Park, the main stage will showcase music, cultural and spiritual performances by professional artists and local community groups. Stalls with cultural and spiritual materials, meditation classes, and vegetarian foods will be available.

The event is sponsored by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, and was inaugurated in 1976 by founder and spiritual teacher,  A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. This  celebration is held in cities around the world including London, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Philadelphia, Melbourne, Nairobi, Durban, Mumbai, Kolkata, Mexico City, etc.

In India, the festival is held in Puri every year “for centuries” says ISKCON, known as the Jagannatha Ratha-yatra, or “the Chariot Journey for the Lord of the Universe.”



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