Photos: Hare Krishna ‘chariot festival’ in Margate

The festival procession Photo Frank Leppard

A Hare Krishna parade and festival took place in Margate yesterday (September 5).

The Margate Rathayatra – chariot festival – included a procession from The Lido in Cliftonville to the seafront at Nayland.

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The annual event included music, free veggie food, mantra and dance and ran from midday to 4pm.

The Hare Krishna movement is a branch of Hinduism, formally known as Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Its name comes from its chant — Hare Krishna.

Mantra Chaitanya das Photo Dave Stillman

Hare Krishna monk Mantra Chaitanya das, from Margate, explained: “The Margate Ratha Yatra festival follows the hugely popular Hare Krishna “Walk For Peace” which passed through Thanet in 2018 and 2019.

Photo Frank Leppard

“The festival sees Hare Krishna devotees chanting and dancing in a colourful procession as they pull an authentic, mobile temple along the seafront. As beautiful as the spectacle is, the festival is not just a performance, but a genuine community event which offers a strong message of peace and love; everybody, regardless of their social, political, ethnic or religious background, is actively invited take part by singing, dancing and eating together in a powerful gesture of togetherness. And of course, anyone who prefers to take part simply by watching is also welcome!

Photo Frank Leppard

“The festival is held in major cities on every continent of the globe, and has now made its way to Margate with help from the Thanet District Council events and parking teams, and with the kind help of Clancy Traffic Management. The Mayor and Mayoress of Margate, Cllr Mick Tomlinson and Mrs Shirley Tomlinson, both attended and were more than happy to get stuck in, helping to pull the cart. Both expressed their appreciation for the festival and for what it offers the town, and have asked for it to return next year. Plans are already underway for another event in the summer of 2022.”

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