Top 10 Iconic Places Outside India Where Ratha Jatra Is Celebrated
6th to 14th July 2016 (Wednesday to Thursday)
Puri Rath Yatra, the world most famous chariot or car festival, at the Puri Jagannath Temple in Orissa. Puri Rath Yatra 2016 date is July 6. It is celebrated on the 2nd day of the Shukla Paksha (waxing phase of the full moon or bright fortnight) Ashadh month as per custom traditional Oriya Calendar. On the first day of the Ratha Yatra, chariots (Rath) carrying Lord Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra is pulled to the nearby Gundicha Temple.
The return journey of the chariots or Bahuda Jatra is on July 14, 2016.
There are several other countries to celebrate Jagannath Ratha Jatra:
1. San Francisco, USA
Almost 49 years ago in 1967, the first Ratha Jatra outside India was celebrated in the city of San Francisco. Interestingly, until today, the people of this city rejoice in the festivity with utmost grandeur!
2. Prague, Czech Republic
Every year on Ratha Jatra, the streets of the Czech capital, Prague are marked with devotees who are seen pulling a 40-foot-high chariot carrying the idols of Lord Jagannath, Balabhdra, and Subhadra. This crowd is also ardently followed by a parade of singers, musicians, and dancers who celebrate in the festivity all along.
3. Durban, South Africa
Ratha Jatra firstly welcome the Durban shoreline in 1988 and is celebrated vibrantly ever since. In fact, besides the usual chariot parade, many other cultural activities highlighting local & international artists grace this spiritual day!
4. Rome, Italy
Even Italian people are no less in thronging and dancing down the streets in adoration of the Lord. It was way back in 1981 in the Tuscan town of Viareggio when the first Ratha Jatra in Italy was held. The image below depicts the debut Ratha Jatra celebrations in Italy’s capital, Rome.
5. Brisbane, Australia
Amidst colorful singing & merrymaking, the occasion of Ratha Jatra is honored in the beautiful city of Brisbane. And the cultural festival which ends up this jubilant street parade is worth witnessing!
6. Moscow, Russia
Here’s a great view of Ratha Jatra observance in Moscow wherein nearly 200 Russian devotees braved the severe 20 below zero weather and snowfall to pull the deities blissfully.
7. Bhaktapur, Nepal
Jagannath Ratha Jatra in Nepal is spectacularly celebrated in the city of Bhaktapur. One can even visit the Jagannath temple in Kathmandu which miraculously survived the massive 2015 earthquake.
8. Florida, USA
It’s vibrant to view the colorful & decorative and colorful chariots being pulled through the beautiful beaches of Florida on the auspicious day of Ratha Jatra. With cultural, classical dance & music centering the chariots, the feel of this celebration gets elevated all the more!
9. London, England
The famous Trafalgar Square is packed with vibrant colors of the chariots as a huge crowd gathers every year to jubilant celebrate Ratha Jatra!
10. Auckland, New Zealand
Ratha Jatra is also the popular celebration in the beautiful city of Auckland. True to its fame, the devotees’ dance in front of the chariots take place with full fervor and zeal.