Not since the Festival of Colors have we seen anything quite this, well, colorful: on Saturday, the 39th annual Parade of Chariots brought thousands of Hare Krishna devotees — and three giant chariots — into the streets of Fifth Avenue for a parade that ended with a jamboree in Washington Square Park.
This stateside version of the annual festival of Ratha Yatra — in which a trio of Vaishnava-Hindu deities are removed from an Indian temple and taken for a spin — was put on by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, which was born in the East Village in 1966. That’s when Indian guru A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada held what’s said to be the first outdoor chanting session in the U.S., near an elm tree in Tompkins Square Park. (Naturally, Allen Ginsberg was in attendance.)
Watch our video of the Parade of Chariots to hear the words that were chanted on that day.