Festival of Chariots brings colour to Crawley

The Hare Krishana community, (ISKCON) society, celebrate the Sri Nama Chariot. Picture: Liz Pearce LP181485
The Hare Krishana community, (ISKCON) society, celebrate the Sri Nama Chariot. Picture: Liz Pearce LP181485

Queens Square, Crawley, came to life for Rathayatra - the Festival of Chariots - on Sunday.

There was singing and live music as revellers refused to let the bad weather dampen their spirits.

Picture: Liz Pearce LP181485

Picture: Liz Pearce LP181485

The family-friendly event saw a chariot hand-drawn through the streets - a symbolic act of working together to spread goodwill and harmony.

“The Festival of Chariots epitomizes the inclusivity of the Bhakti Yoga tradition – as the chariot is hand-drawn through the streets, it emphasizes how spiritual faith is not exclusive to certain people, but is available to all,” said a statement from the organisers.

The festival has its origins in public processions held in eastern India more than 5,000 years ago. The tradition continues to this day, with huge crowds turning out to help pull the chariot.

Rathayatra celebrations have been held outside of India for just over 50 years, expressing unity in diversity by inviting everyone - regardless of gender, ethnic background, age, or religious orientation - to take part.

Festival of Chariots''The Hare Krishana community, (ISKCON) society, celebrate the Sri Nama Chariot. ''Crawley, West Sussex. ''Picture: Liz Pearce 24/09/2018''LP181485 SUS-180924-111025008

Festival of Chariots''The Hare Krishana community, (ISKCON) society, celebrate the Sri Nama Chariot. ''Crawley, West Sussex. ''Picture: Liz Pearce 24/09/2018''LP181485 SUS-180924-111025008

Photos by Liz Pearce