Rath Yatra: Leicester to Host Festival of Chariots Celebration
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Rath Yatra: Leicester to Host Festival of Chariots Celebration

About 10,000 people are expected to attend a “happy and joyful” Hindu celebration in Leicester. Organisers said the Festival of Chariots, also known as Rath Yatra, event included one of the biggest processions in the Midlands.

It is due to start 11:30 BST on Sunday and will involve music, singing, dancing and a 40ft (12 meter) chariot being hand-pulled through the city.

This year the annual event is marking its 30-year anniversary.

The festival has been organised the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Leicester, a Hare Krishna branch of Hinduism in the city.

The procession is due to set off from its Granby Street base and travel through the city.

It is then due to arrive at Cossington Park at 14:00 where a stage show, mantra meditation and children’s activities have been planned.

Festival of Chariots in Leicester
Image caption,Pradyumna Das said the festival represented how God enjoys being out in the city

The Festival of Chariots one of India’s biggest religious festivals and has been celebrated for over 5,000 years.

ISKCON said the festival in Leicester was the second largest celebration in Europe.

Pradyumna Das, president of ISKCON Leicester, said: “This is a happy and joyful festival that has become a regular and much-loved feature in our city.

“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.”

Source : BBC