On Sunday 28th June London’s Ratha-yatra returned to the streets of the British capital. London was illuminated by the wonderful colors and sounds of the festival, a vibrant celebration of Vaishnava culture and spirituality in the city.
Thousands of festival-goers, pilgrims, and faith leaders hand-pulled the three 40-foot high colorful chariots carrying the sacred deities of Jagannath, Baladev and Subhadra, from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. Central London pulsated to Indian spiritual sounds with instruments from across the globe.
At Trafalgar Square, where the procession came to an end, families enjoyed cultural and educational displays and exhibitions, revealing the spiritual heart of India. There were lively workshops, sample music, sanctified food, and literature, some visitors also tried sari-draping and face-painting. From the stage, festival-goers were treated to Bharat Natyam, drama, and music. In addition to all this, about 25,000 plates of prasad [sanctified food] were distributed.