The Nueva Nilacala Mandir (International Society for Krishna Consciousness or ISKCON) in Guadalajara celebrates the 41st anniversary of Ratha Yatra (festival of the giant chariots) on Saturday, November, 18 and Sunday, November 19.
This Hindu festivity involves moving the deities Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and their sister Subhadra on richly decorated chariots, in the form of a parade. Exuberant devotees play devotional songs with drums and trumpets along the way. The festival has been celebrated for 2,000 years in Puri, India, and is now held in many major cities as well as Guadalajara, including London, Los Angeles and Melbourne.
To mark this ritual, a Ratha Yatra chariot procession starts from Parque Agua Azul in downtown Guadalajara on Saturday at 10 a.m. and proceeds to the Tren Ligero station at Plaza Universidad (Juarez and Colon). Three giant chariots will be decked out in bright colors (with orange predominating) and accompanied by local followers of the faith.
At noon, a two-day festival hosted by local Krishna devotees –featuring vegetarian food, conferences, dance, theater, infantile yoga and more – will begin in the plaza.
Colloquially known as the Hare Krishna movement of Guadalajara, the ISKCON temple celebrates with great fervor a variety of festivals throughout the year, including Jagannath Rathaayatra, Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Sri Rama Navami, Narasimha Jayanti (Narasimha Chaturdasi), Shravana Maasa, Annakut Mahotsava in Kartika Maasa, Diwali, Karthika Maasa, Margashirsha Maasa and Holi Purnima.
Apart from its spiritual center, the ISKCON Nueva Nilacala Mandir is popular for its vegetarian/vegan restaurant, yoga studio and boutique that offers a variety of original Hare Krishna books, DVDs, CDs, posters and MP3s; incense; cookbooks; health food and supplements; Krishna art; clothing items and models of deities.
The temple is located on Pedro Moreno 1791, Colonia Americana in Guadalajara. For more information call (33) 3615-3127.