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ISKCON – Festival of Chariots
May 7, 2016 @ 10:30 am - 4:00 pmFree
The popular Festival of Chariots returns to the Brisbane CBD on Saturday the 7th of May as the Hare Krishna community celebrates their 50th anniversary.
Onlookers will revel in the sight of our glorious 4.5-tonne hand-drawn chariot which will depart Queens Park at 10:30am accompanied by a vibrant parade that will sing and dance its way down Elizabeth Street, Creek Street and Adelaide Street, arriving at King George Square around 11:15am where a colourful cultural festival awaits.
The festival at King George Square has free entry and will be a feast for the senses with free vegetarian food and activities to entertain the whole family—including live music, traditional dances and drama, as well as henna and face painting, children’s activities and an Indian boutique.
“We’d love your help! Come and watch the parade or join us in the fun of pulling on the ropes that will tow the chariot to King George Square using people power alone,” invites festival coordinator Niti Sheth.
The first Festival of Chariots (also known as Ratha Yatra) celebrated outside of India was held exactly 50 years ago in San Francisco with a utility truck substituting as a makeshift chariot. The celebration has grown significantly, with vibrant, lavish annual festivals—reminiscent of the glorious festivals that originated in India thousands of years ago—now held in all the major cities around the world.
Colloquially known as ‘Hare Krishnas’, the organisation behind this festival is formally known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The ISKCON community has been active in Brisbane for over 40 years and provides many social and welfare services to the community, with all activities carried out with the aim to promote a simple lifestyle with conscious living.
“This is a very special year for our society: 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of ISKCON’s
incorporation and festivities are being held all over the world to mark the occasion. We are delighted to celebrate this tremendous milestone with the people of Brisbane via our Festival of Chariots,” says Ms Sheth.
Date: Saturday 7 May 2016
Parade Details: Gather at Queen’s Park (next to the Treasury Casino) from 10:00am for the parade, which begins at 10:30am sharp.
Festival Details: 11:15am to 4:00pm, King George Square, free entry