When is Rath Yatra 2024?
Rath Yatra is a popular holiday derived from two terms. Yatra to mean festival and Ratha to mean chariots. Therefore, Rath Yatra is a festival that involves the carrying of large idols of deities on chariots. The holiday commemorates Lord Jagannath, his brother Lord Balabhadra and sister Subhadra’s annual journey to their aunt’s temple in Puri, Odisha.
When is Rath Yatra?
According to the Oriya calendar, Rath Yatra is marked on the second day after the new moon during the month of Ashadha. The dates coincide with late June or early July of the Gregorian calendar.
Is Rath Yatra a public holiday?
Rath Yatra is not a public holiday but a restricted holiday in India and is not a day off to the general population.
What is opened or closed on Rath Yatra?
Government offices, banks, post offices, and the majority of businesses remain open on Rath Yatra. It is a typical working day for the general population. However, the Indian labour laws allow employees to take leave from select holidays on the list of restricted holidays.
Why celebrate Rath Yatra?
Rath Yatra is unique, given that it is the only holiday where deities are taken out of temples. Devotees believe that Lord Jagannath, alongside his siblings, desires to visit Mathura every year, his birthplace. It is also believed that, by taking part in this festival, you are freed from the phase of birth and death.
Things to do on Rath Yatra
Celebrations of Rath Yatra are mainly vibrant in the Eastern states of India. Besides being a public holiday, Rath Yatra in Puri is marked with plenty of activities.
The chariot procession in Puri, Odisha, is the most popular and the largest globally. Devotees carry the idols of Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra. Before the festival, the idols are bathed with 109 buckets of water in the Snama Purnima ritual performed by the priests. During the procession, the idols are positioned in different chariots of different sizes and wheels. These chariots are colourfully decorated, and the devotees pull them on a stretch of 3KM to the Gundicha temple before being returned to the Jagannath Temple 7 days later. Indeed, this is one kind of event that you need to attend and witness the religious customs that come with it.
After witnessing the grand Rath Yatra procession, take the opportunity and explore the rest of Puri. The city hosts some of the largest temples, such as Gundicha Temple, Konark Temple, and the Sakshigopal Temple. If you intend to visit Jagannath temple, keep in mind that it does not allow non-Hindus to enter. Other prime attractions in the area include Puri beach, Pipili Village, Chilika Lake, and Raghurajpur Artist Village.
If you will be working on Rath Yatra, just invite a few friends and family members for dinner and celebrate the day at home. Be sure to serve a variety of traditional dishes such as Khecedi, poda pitha, daima and santula.
Rath Yatra Observances
||Puri Rath Yatra
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