Have you ever seen a 40 foot tall Chariot?

www.thefestivalofchariots.comOn July 21, 2012 starting at 11:00 a.m., the 27th annual Festival of Chariots for the Detroit area will descend upon the Novi Civic Center and Fuerst Park.  This Festival is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.  The Festival of Chariots is an ancient festival revealing the spiritual heart of India and is celebrated by millions of people around the world.  In addition to a free lunch of international cuisine, guests attending the Michigan Festival of Chariots will see ancient Vaishnava rituals, colorful floats, traditional costumes, unique live music and dramas and more.  The whole family will enjoy exploring this unique exhibition that will open your eyes to the spiritual depth of India’s history.


So what should you expect from the Festival of Chariots in Novi?  You’ll join over 5,000 guests of all ages enjoying various forms of spiritual and culture enlightenment.  The day begins at 11:00 a.m. with the Opening Ceremonies at the Novi Civic Center.  Join the Mayor and other city officials as they inaugurate the event, after which the amazing 40 foot tall chariot will make its way down the streets of Novi for a 2.5 mile interactive procession featuring live music and dancing.  You can walk the whole parade or peel off after a short walk and explore an amazing exhibition at Fuerst Park.  You’ll find tents featuring mantra meditation, yoga, live musical and dance performances, Vedic culture and arts, henna painting and many children’s activities.  Want more?  Every guest will receive a free lunch (we call it a feast!) featuring an international cuisine prepared by amazing chefs.


What is the spiritual core of this Festival?  A fundamental driving force for all of humanity is our eternal search for happiness.  The highest happiness is found when we connect with our eternal friend and well-wisher, the Supreme Lord.  Srila Prabhupada, the Founder-Acharya of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, introduced this pure Vaishnava philosophy to the Western world through his approach of embracing people from all walks of life and spiritual beliefs.  His only mission was to show all of us how to love God.  In this way, we achieve the greatest perfection in our life.  In this Festival of Chariots, you will experience some of the core processes of connecting with God – chanting and hearing the holy names, seeing beautiful forms of God to spark our attraction, and even eating spiritualized food.  The Festival of Chariots will show you the blissful process of connecting with God in a fun and lively way.  Join us.   


Summary of Key Highlights: 

  • ·    2.5 Mile interactive procession with a 40 foot tall chariot accompanied by live music and dancing
  • Several hours of free stage entertainment featuring unique dramas, dances and musical performances
  • Inspiring FREE lunch for all guests
  • Exhibitions featuring Vaishnava spiritual rituals, yoga and mantra meditation, the historical journey of Srila Prabhupada and much more
  • Children’s activities including bouncies, magicians, face painting and more



History of this Ancient Indian Festival: 

Ratha Yatra literally means Chariot Festival. Ratha Yatra originated 5,000 years ago in India, on the East Coast state of Orrisa, in a city called Jagannatha Puri. The Festival celebrates Sri Krishna’s return home and is held annually in the months of June-July to honor the Lord in His form as Jagannatha, the Lord of the Universe. Millions of people from around the world descend upon Jagannath Puri (India) to celebrate this unbelievable festival.


Usually the deities of Lord Jagannath, Balarama and Subhadra are worshipped within the temple, but on the day of the Rath Yatra festival they are taken through the streets so that everyone can have the fortune of seeing them. Richly decorated chariots, resembling mobile temple structures, are pulled through the streets of Jagannath Puri. This commemorates the annual journey of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balarama, and their sister Subhadra to the Gundicha Temple, situated 2 km from their temple. During the festival, devotees from all over the world go to Jagannath Puri with an earnest desire to help pull the ropes of the chariot. The people in the huge processions accompanying the chariots play songs with drums, tambourines, trumpets, etc. Children line the streets to add to the chorus as the chariots go by. It is also telecasted live on many Indian and International television channels.


The Festival of Chariots was first performed outside of India on July 9, 1967 in San Francisco , under the supervision of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Srila Prabhupada first got the idea for performing the festival in San Francisco while looking out the window of his room above Frederick Street. Today, the Festival of the Chariots is performed around the world.



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About the writer: Penny Golden

7 Responses to Have you ever seen a 40 foot tall Chariot?

  1. Mak June 20, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Last year i visited this place and enjoyed a lot with my friends and family and i suggest everyone to visit once in their lifetime.

  2. Devin O'Rourke June 19, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    I Love Krishna food and kirtan! I didn’t know they were in Michigan too

  3. Ketan June 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    I go to the Festival of Chariots every year. It’s a great festival… Lots of activities for kids and family and Free food…

  4. Michael Taylor June 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    This sounds like fun.

  5. Nick June 18, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    This sounds like an amazing and interesting festival, i’m going to definetly plan to be there with my family.

  6. Roger Strand June 18, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Sounds interesting. I am sure my kids will have fun. Planning to take them.

  7. Nick June 18, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    This looks like a unique and cool festival. I can’t wait to see this chariot. Free lunch is hard to beat.


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