Bringing Krishna Culture Festivals to a City Near You

Ratha-Yatra (Festival of Chariots) in Phoenix, Arizona December 16, 2017

Submitted by madhuha on Fri, 12/29/2017 - 16:02

1,500 plus festival goers in Chariot Parade in Phoenix on December 16th were Dancing, while ecstatically chanting the Hare Krishna Mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Article written by The Hare Krishna Devotees in Phoenix, Arizona

The Festival of the Chariots, referred to as Ratha-Yatra, originated 5,000 years ago in India on the East Coast state of Orissa in a city called Jagannatha Puri. The Festival celebrates Lord Krishna’s return to Vrindavan and is held annually in the months of June -July to honor Lord Jagannatha, which means Lord of the Universe. Lord Jagannatha is a particular Deity form of Lord Krishna, and the residents of Puri have been worshipping this form for many centuries. Five hundred years ago, Lord Chaitanya, the most merciful incarnation of Lord Krishna, used to visit Lord Jagannatha in the temple daily and see Him in a mood of intense separation, much like Srimati Radharani who was parted from her beloved Krishna most of her days.

The Festival of Chariots is an invitation for the Lord Jagannatha, to enter into our hearts by pulling His cart down a street. It is an ancient Indian tradition, brought to the West by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada (1896-1977), the founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

Outside India, this festival was first celebrated in SanFrancisco, USA in the year 1967 under the guidance of his Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Since then Ratha-Yatra became an international festival celebrated in many countries including USA, UK, Canada, South America, South Africa, Poland, New Zealand, Australia, etc.)

On December 16th, ISKCON of Phoenix temple held their first Ratha Yatra celebrations. Lord Jagannatha, Lord Balarama, and Lady Subhadra were placed in canopied chariots which were decorated with flowers, flags, etc. The deities looked very opulent with the tahiyas (head pieces) that Badrinath Prabhu, from Dallas, personally crafted.

The procession started with chanting Lord Jagannatha ashtakam by ISKCON devotees. Arizona Interfaith Chairman, Larry Fultz performed the coconut breaking ceremony Bharatanatyam dancers from Sampradaya School of dance offered Pushpanjali prayers dance to the Lord.

The cart parade, with mridanga drums and kartala cymbals resounding, proceeded from Palm Lane to Steele Indian School Park. During this procession, many people experienced Lord Jagannth’s darshan and received His merciful glance. Devotees handed out Prasadam sweets, as well as books and flyers while dancing to the melodious Hare Krishna Kirtan. Many that day perhaps had no idea the spectacle they would experience as the procession passed their apartments and streets!

While the cart paraded down, back at the Steele Indian School Park-the main event venue—the Hare Krishna Festival of India’s various transcendental exhibit booths greeted visitors: Mantra-Yoga/Chanting of Maha Mantra—Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare, Vegetarianism-The Higher Taste, Changing Bodies/The Science of Reincarnation, Bhagavad-Gita, Experience Yoga—Hatha Yoga, Books on Yoga & Meditation, Henna & Face Painting, and a special exhibit explaining the life of ISKCON’s Founder Acarya—A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.

Several other vendors joined in our booth display, including crafts, food, traditional clothes and jewelry. Upon the cart’s return to the pavilion, various cultural events were performed at the stage included ISKCON of Phoenix Sunday School performance, Bharatanatyam by Sampradaya School of dance and other individual performers, Mohiniattam, Chenda (tradional drum performance) by Kerala Hindu Association and Kirtans by different groups.

During the stage performance, various bits of philosophy were explained to the guests, such as the origin and amazing truths about Jagannatha Puri events by the emcees (Radhika DD, Anita Mataji, and Mahi Mataji). Temple President Prema dhatri Mataji invited the guest of honor, Arizona Corporate Commissioner, Tom Forese on to the stage for a short address to the attendees.

The deities, Lord Jagannatha, Baladeva, and Subhadra, were moved to a nicely decorated tent where They were offered prayers and bhoga .Vegetarian prasadam, or sanctified food, was served throughout the event to at least 1,500 festival attendees.

Badrinatha Prabhu; Madhuha Prabhu; and Mathura Vallabha Govinda Prabhu at the 2017 Phoenix Festival

The event concluded with Prema dhatri Mataji thanking the attendees, volunteers, devotees, and City officials for their support for this great event. Phoenix ISKON will make this an annual tradition henceforth. A huge thank you to Mathura Vallabha Govinda Prabhu for taking the lead to organize this festival. We are so very grateful to Madhuha Prabhu and Ratnabhushan Prabhu for their help in bringing the deities, the Festival of India and the chariot to Phoenix for the festival.

Ratna Bhusana Prabhu and his wife M. Ishana d.d. in front of the chariot he brought to Phoenix for the December 16 Ratha-Yatra and Festival of India (Ratna Bhusana Prabhu personally built this chariot)

With this event, ISKCON of Phoenix was able to join Srila Prabhupada’s legacy of celebrating Jagannatha Ratha Yatra. This was a great opportunity to take the Lord’s mercy out to the streets in the form of the deities and the holy names. Jai Jagannatha, Hare Krishna!

2018 Hare Krishna Festival of India Tour Schedule

Submitted by FOI on Thu, 12/21/2017 - 00:32

North American Hare Krishna Festival of India 2018 Tour

*March 1 Thursday.....Gaura Purnima--CONFIRMED
*April 28.....Baltimore, Maryland--Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadeva--CONFIRMED
*April 28.....Baltimore, Maryland--Temple Opening 1st Anniversary Festival--CONFIRMED
*April 30.....University of Maryland College Park--Festival of India--CONFIRMED
*May 2.....University of Maryland Baltimore County--Festival of India--CONFIRMED
*May 6.....Potomac, Md--HoliDC Hare Krishna Kirtan & Colors Festival--CONFIRMED
*May 19.....Winston Salem, N.C.--Ratha-Yatra--CONFIRMED
*May 26 and 27.....Baltimore, Md.--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*June 2 and 3.....Atlanta, Georgia--Pani-Hati and Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*June 9.....New York City--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*June 16.....Hartford, Ct.--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*June 23.....Pandava Nirjala Ekadasi--CONFIRMED
*June 24.....Bloomington, Illinois--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*July 7 and 8.....Montreal, Quebec--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*July 14 and 15.....Toronto, Ontario--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*July 21.....Calgary, Alberta-Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*July 28.....Edmonton, Alberta-Ratha-Yatra--CONFIRMED
*August 5.....Los Angeles, California--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*August 11 and 12.....Vancouver, B.C.--Ratha-Yatra--CONFIRMED
*August 19.....San Francisco, Ca.--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
August 25.....Vancouver, B.C.--Appearance Day of Lord Balarama
*September 3.....Vancouver, B.C.--Sri KRISHNA Janmastami--CONFIRMED
*September 4.....Vancouver, B.C.--Srila Prabhupada's Vyasa Puja--CONFIRMED
*September 8 and 9.....Seattle, Wa.--Ratha-Yatra and Flavors of India Fest--CONFIRMED
*September 13 through 16.....Joshua Tree, Ca.--BhaktiFest--CONFIRMED
*September 22.....Philadelphia, Pennsylvania--Ratha-yatra--CONFIRMED
*October 8.....Washington D.C., American University--Kay Spiritual Center Festival of India--CONFIRMED
*Octpober 9.....College Park, Md.--University of Maryland College Park Festival of India--CONFIRMED
*October 10.....Washington D.C.--George Washington University--Viva Kultura only--CONFIRMED
October 11....Baltimore, Md.--George Mason University--Cancelled due to threat of bad weather
*October 21.....Bloomington, Illinois--Sri Ramacandra Vijayotsava--Festival of India--CONFIRMED
December 30.....San Juan, Puerto Rico--Ratha-Yatra and Festival of India


Please contact Festival of India, at the below email address, or your local Hare Krishna temple to confirm festival dates before making your travel plans

For info on FLORIDA Ratha-Yatra Festivals please CLICK HERE

***Please contact us for information how to bring Festival of India to your city, email to:

Hare Krishna Festival of India @ the 3rd Annual Ratha-Yatra in Morrisville, North Carolina

Submitted by madhuha on Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:17

Morrisville2017 1

Click here for more information
Inspired by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
Founder Acharya of the International Society For Krishna Consciousness

Morrisvillle2017 2

Click here for more information
Inspired by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada
Founder Acharya of the International Society For Krishna Consciousness