On the day of the Ratha yatra, 4th March 2016, devotees started to decorate the chariot, prepare the coconuts, made garlands and flowers bouquets, and some others cooked for the deities and the devotees. Many local Hindu families came to take part in the festival; the devotees welcomed them by giving them prasadam. Who does not like Jagannatha prasadam? Then the guests from police department and Counsellor of Hindu Society also came. At 7 pm all devotees and guest participated in the Gaura arati. After Gaura arati Lord Jaganath was seated on the chariot and the ceremony started. The head police officer stated that their duty as police officers was to facilitate and maintain security of the society and that they were happy to be part of the wonderful festival. Then H.H. Subhag Swami gave short speech. Maharaj told about the benefit of seeing ratha yatra and conveyed gratitude to the government authorities for assisting the devotees in organising this Ratha yatra. Maharaj offered arati to the Lord and all people gathered in front of the chariot. they were so happy singing hare Krishna Mahamantra. After arati, coconuts were broken in front of the chariot as the sign that ratha yatra has started.
By Harinarayana Das