The chariot used in Rath Yatra

The annual Hare Krishna Festival of Chariots event was held on Saturday, 11 May from 11am till evening and filled the streets of Brisbane city with thousands of devotees, including families, festival goers, and vibrant dancers from all over South East Queensland.

This year’s event saw the Hare Krishna community, accompanied by thousands of celebrating participants, parade a giant wooden colourfully decorated chariot through the streets of the city.

The 2019 Brisbane Festival of Chariots consisted of two elements, the chariot parade and a myriad of cultural and participatory events. Starting in King George Square at 11.30am, everyone, including Hare Krishna devotees as well as participants, helped pull the giant chariot through the streets of Brisbane accompanied by singing and dancing.

Also on offer were henna, face painting, and delicious free meals from Hare Krishna’s own Govinda’s Vegetarian restaurant for all participants. There were also cultural and spiritual exhibition tents, showcasing the richness of the Hare Krishna community and the culture they are rooted in.

The Festival of Chariots, which began in India 5,000 years ago, is a spiritual event that involves pulling giant statues of deities through the city. It is symbolic of Krishna coming out of his temple to see his people, and the Hare Krishna community truly brought out all of the cultural and spiritual significance, as well as the colour, sound, and excitement, to the Brisbane festival again this year.