INDIA FESTIVAL RATH YATRA




 
Rath Yatra : Rituals and Celebrations

 


On the day of the journey, people get up early and offer prayers to Jagannatha. The Chariots are lined up and decorated in front of the Puri Temple. The Rath Yatra processions are flagged off after the rituals performed by the King of Puri. Locals believe that there existed an incestuous relationship between Jagannatha and his sister Subhadra, which provoked abuses when the images were out in public. The entire yatra is a symbolic humanization of God and an attempt to bring God down from his pedestal of glory to a more human level. Only the King of Puri and the King of Nepal are allowed to touch the idols as they belong to the Chandravanshi dynasty, the same as Krishna. Then the teeming pilgrims line up and pull the chariot. In his grandeur and ceremonial style, the King sweeps the chariot platforms with a golden handled broom and sprinkle with scented water. When the chariots reach the summerhouse, the idols are installed. The journey back, a week later, consists of another ritual, known as Phera Rath Yatra.

On this day, children are seen on the streets carrying miniature versions of the chariots with tiny idols installed on them. Shops and houses are decorated with flowers, lights and rangoli. Special dishes and sweets are prepared. Most people refrain from eating non-vegetarian food.

When the chariots reach the summerhouse, the idols are installed. The journey back, a week later, consists of another ritual, known as Phera Rath Yatra.


All About Rath Yatra Festival

Historical Significance of Rath Yatra

 

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