Hindi Language Blog

Rath Yatra Posted by on Jul 24, 2009 in Hindi Language

Rath Yatra is a famous celebration held every summer in India. Rath (रथ) means chariot and Yatra (यात्रा) means procession. Rath Yatra is celebrated in the city of Puri in the state of Orissa. On Rath Yatra, all three deities are paraded throughout the city for Darshan (दर्शन) or for public worship. The deities are, Jagannath (जगन्नाथ) also known as Krishna (कृष्ण), Balaraama (बलराम) the elder brother of Jagannath and Subhadraa (सुभद्रा) the half sister of Jagannath.

The three deities are wheeled on a wooden cart. The carts are made by skilled craftsman who come from priviledged craftsman families. The sewers of the fabric take painstaking care to make sure everything is made according to religious standards. The chariots are designated by different colors. Usually the white cart stands for Balaraama (बलराम), the red one for Subhadraa (सुभद्रा) and the black is for Jagannatha (जगन्नाथ).

Usually the deities are held in the interior of the temple. Only people of Indian descent can enter the temple and view the deities. However, on the day of the festival, everyone has a chance to view the deities. The festival is a commemoration of the day Jagannath returned to his hometown. The day of the festival is normally a happy and exciting day for the crowds that line up to see the deities. However, in the past, there has been instances where it has turned dangerous and bloody. People have been known to be trampled under the carts and children have been known to lose their parents amist the noise and crowdedness.

The great thing about this festival is that everyone participates. People of low and high born status, people of Hindu and Muslim faiths, men, women, children, they all participate. It’s simply all of India together, regardless of any of the differences between people.

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