On March 30, 2019, Festival of Joy was celebrated at Klyde Warren Park in downtown Dallas. Also known as Ratha Yatra or Festival of the Chariots, it is observed in many global city centres and promises to bring a vibrant celebration of South Asian spiritual heritage and culture to the Arts District in Dallas, TX.
Along with music and dance performances, the festival features a parade. The Rath Yatra Parade is a re-enactment of a pastime in which the Lord’s family and childhood friends affectionately pull the ropes of his royal chariot to make him return back home with them. Devotees believe that if they get the honor of pulling the ropes of the giant chariot carrying Lord Krishna, known as Jagannatha or the Lord of the Universe, then after this life they will obtain eternal service to the Lord in the spiritual world. Photo Credits: Abhilasha Jangam
Lord Jagannath – in Sanskrit, jagat means the universe, and nath means Lord. The Ratha Yatra Chariot Festival has been observed annually in the city of Jagannath Puri in Orissa, India for over 3,000 years, making it the world’s longest-running street festival. The Parade in the heart of the city of Dallas included singing sacred mantras and playing traditional musical instruments. Photo Credits: Abhilasha Jangam
Along with music and dance, several booths such as face painting, henna tattoos, crafts for kids, yoga, block painting and a chance to dress up Indian-style in a sari or turban provided a glimpse into the Indian culture. Photo Credits: Abhilasha Jangam
Despite cold temperatures, the festival drew hundreds of families and young adults from nearby areas. A variety of vegetarian dishes were available for purchase during the celebrations. Photo Credits: Abhilasha Jangam
This day-long event celebrated India’s spirituality and rich culture 8000 miles away from India and shared the magical culture of India with North Texans. Photo Credits: Abhilasha Jangam