Morrisville, North Carolina, USA:
The second annual Rath Jatra of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra was celebrated on July 10, 2016 at the Church Street Park,Morrisville.
An estimated 4000 plus devotees of Lord Jagannath participated in the 3 Kilometer long procession pulling chariots with devotional songs and music. The city of Morrisville provided security escorting the chariots all the way to the destination park where many fun activities for kids and adults were performed. Nearly 2000 devotees were treated with free vegetarian food. The Hindu Society of North Carolina (NC), along with ISKCON of NC, and Odisha Society of NC organized several entertainment programs that included Kirtana/Bhajan, Classical Dance, Drama along with Face Painting for kids. The celebration continued for 7 hours with much fanfare and ceremony. Odia kids performed Odishi Dance “Jagannathastaka” in front of the Lord.
Undeterred by the hot weather of 92 degrees Fahrenheit (330 C), devotees turned out in large number bringing enough cheers and enthusiasm for this annual event. The spirit of the universal brotherhood is best felt in a celebration like Ratha Jatra and now the most popular talked-about event of the town. With this spirit, organizers are planning for Bahuda Jatra (The Return Journey) to be celebrated on July 16, 2016 at the Hindu Temple of NC from 12:00PM to 6:00PM.
(Image courtesy: Dhirendra Kar)