2nd Annual Halifax Ratha Yatra Festival

ISKCON Halifax is excited to announce the 2nd Annual Ratha Yatra: Festival of Chariots!

June 17th at the Garrison Grounds - Parade from 12-2pm followed by Cultural Exhibition

Due to your generous support, last year's first-ever Ratha Yatra Festival in Halifax was a grand success. We made major strides toward establishing this unique cultural event as a yearly celebration, and were happy to serve the community of HRM by offering this experience. Despite the rainy weather, we managed to serve nearly 2,000 plates of free prasadam (traditional sacred food)! Hundreds of people sang and danced through the streets of Halifax, pulling the gigantic chariot of Lord Jagannatha for the first time. And the rich, beautiful, ancient culture of India was showcased to be appreciated by the city of Halifax.

Needless to say: we want to do it again! And to make that happen, we are appealing for your kind contribution. Please donate what you can toward this campaign and share this fundraiser with your friends and family. Every donation counts and will certainly be noticed by Lord Jagannatha!

What is the Ratha Yatra Festival?

Also known as the Festival of the Chariots, the Ratha Yatra Festival originated in the ancient city of Puri, India. During the festival, three mammoth rathas (chariots), upon which the deities of Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra are seated, are pulled by rope on a jubilant procession called a yatra, attracting over a million people annually for the past few thousand years. The parade itself symbolizes the pulling of the Lord into our hearts, and it is done with great devotion to the accompaniment of chanting and dancing, called kirtan.

Who is ISKCON Halifax?

An emerging cultural community and faith-based group with roots in ancient India. We are the local HRM branch of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (popularly known as the Hare Krishna Movement). As a CRA-registered charity and non-profit organization (832429815 RR 0001), we are part of a worldwide confederation of 400+ communities belonging to the Gaudiya-Vaishnava lineage, a monotheistic tradition within Hindu culture.

What can we look forward to in the 2nd Annual Halifax Ratha Yatra Festival?

The main components of the festival will consist of:

  • Behold the beautiful, hand-carved and painted, 300lb and 3.5 foot tall deity of Lord Jagannatha (an ancient depiction of the Supreme Lord)
  • A colorful procession with a giant chariot and the deity of Lord Jagannatha down Spring Garden Road in the heart of the city
  • A festival site in the Garrison Grounds where the parade will conclude and further festivities will begin
  • Entertainment, cultural performances, devotional chants and dancing, extravagant worship of the deity of Lord Jagannatha
  • Boutiques, spiritual literature about yoga and meditation, henna and face-painting, activities for children
  • Free and liberal distribution of sacred vegetarian food offered to the deity (prasadam)
  • 45 minute complementary yoga session
  • The opportunity to participate in a rich cultural tradition, and much, much more!

How can you help?

There are considerable expenses involved in organizing this festival and making it a success, as well as many volunteer service opportunities. If you contribute according to your means, certainly Lord Jagannatha will bless you and your family. Please donate generously!

An overview of the various expenditures is as follows:

  • Acquiring a 30-foot-tall chariot from Quebec
  • Preparing food (prasadam) for 4,000 people
  • Renting festival venue
  • Obtaining event insurance
  • Electrical
  • Fees for permits, police escorts, etc.
  • Renting big tents, chairs, stage, tables, etc.
  • Renting music equipment
  • Decorations for the chariot and festival grounds
  • Renting toilets, washing stations, garbage collection service
  • Ordering boutique items and books like Bhagavad-gita, Srimad-bhagavatam, etc.
  • Printing banners, posters, pamphlets, displays, etc.
  • Rentals such as transportation vehicles, bouncy castles, etc.
  • Advertising/promotion
  • Miscellaneous supplies and tools

Any additional funds left over after the Ratha Yatra Festival will go into future ISKCON Halifax events and projects.

Before closing, we would also like to invite you to attend our weekly Sunday Feast program. This takes place every Sunday from 12-2pm at 634 Francklyn Street (Atlantic School of Theology, Chapel Building). The program includes: chanting, dancing, a free feast, and discussions on spiritual philosophy. Please join us!

We sincerely appreciate any contribution to this event.

Your servants,
Ambarish dasa
Priyanka Arora
Ratha Yatra Committee Chair & Vice-Chair
on behalf of ISKCON Halifax

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ISKCON Halifax
Halifax, NS

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