This year marks the seventh Scandinavian Ratha Yatra tour in a row, undertaken for Lord Jagannatha’s pleasure and the tours are still going strong. It was from 6-14th July 2012. The tours are very important in reaching out and presenting Krishna-Consciousness to the people of the Scandinavian countries. This year devotees from many countries were there such as from United Kingdom, India, USA, Australia, Slovenia. Aside from the 5 Ratha Yatras there were Harinama’s before and/or after each Ratha Yatra, and also hundreds of Srila Prabhupada’s books went out, particularly thanks to the Bhaktivedanta Manor Book Distribution team.
There was also Prasadam being distributed, whether it was fruits, bags of nuts and raisins, or a feast at the end of the festival. People were amazed to see the Hare Krishna devotees chanting enthusiastically through the streets, even in heavy rain conditions such especially during Aarhus Ratha Yatra.
Not only was it very beneficial for the public but it was also another reason to bring the devotees from the Scandinavian countries together in service.
At the end of the Malmo Ratha Yatra a huge hall was booked, where hundreds attended the stage programme with talks, kirtans and dances, in Copenhagen the people were extremely receptive to the Harinamas and took many many books. The tours are also very important in giving ISKCON a good reputation amongst the public and during the Copenhagen Ratha Yatra a government minister from India and expressed his appreciation of the festivals.
The devotees from each city did lots of service and hard work to make the festivals a success along with the UK Ratha Yatra festival team, and devotees from neighbouring countries in particular are invited to try attend the festivals if they aren’t coming already.
Aug 06, 2022
Brahmatirtha das Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies