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Thousands to attend this weekend’s colourful Rathayatra Festival of Chariots

A 40 foot chariot will be pulled through the streets of Leicester this weekend as the Hare Krishna Festival of Chariots returns to the city.

The vibrant event – one of the most important on the Hindu calendar, will begin at Humberstone Gate this Sunday (June 30), with a tumultuous welcome ceremony called a pahandi. People will gather for this at 9.30am. The inauguration will commence at 11.30am in the presence of the Lord Mayor and City Mayor, as well as community leaders.

Leicester Time: Thousands to attend this weekend's colourful Rathayatra Festival of Chariots
Picture: Pukaar News

Festival-goers from all over the country will hand-pull the 40ft chariot carrying the magnificent Deities of Lord Jagannatha (Krishna), his sister Subhadra, and Lord Balarama through Leicester City Centre, accompanied by music, singing, and dancing.

The lively procession, with spiritual sounds and instruments from all over the globe, will travel from the City Centre, along the Golden Mile, and into Cossington Park.

At Cossington Park, there will be a variety of experiences for all the family, including a stage show, mantra meditation, children’s fun activities, and a free vegetarian meal for all.

ISKCON Leicester (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) has organised the event. Explaining its importance, President Pradyumna Das said: “Rathayatra Festival of Chariots is special because it represents how God enjoys being out in the city. The festival invites everyone, regardless of colour, nationality, and religion to come and enjoy the procession, take part in the chanting, and enjoy the cultural offerings.”

Sunday’s procession is set to be one of the ‘biggest and brightest in the Midlands,’ attracting thousands of festival-goers.

Visit: https://www.iskconleicester.org/festivals/iskcon-leicester-rathayatra to find out more.