ISKCON New Vrindaban has started its festival season, which runs from May to September, and draws pilgrims, gives inspiration and association to visiting devotees, helps to maintain the temple, and provides engagement and financial support for devotee staff.
Lord Jagannatha is coming. 2020 was the first year without a New York Ratha Yatra parade in 45 years – instead, Lord Jagannatha was driven down Fifth Avenue in a minivan, along with a virtual online celebration.
In a small procession consisting of the chariot-truck along with several devotees’ cars, Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra visited six different spots across New Vrindaban.
“Every year, there’s some new challenge that comes up while organizing Toronto Rathayatra, and we joke that Lord Jagannath always throws us a curveball,” says Rukmini Dasi, co-chair of the Rathayatra Committee. Little did they know, however, that 2020 would bring the ultimate curveball – a global pandemic that required people to social distance from each other and saw all gatherings and public festivities banned.