Tuesday, July 16, 2024

America’s Rhodes Island Hosts Car Festival – N.F Times


Rhodes Island : The smallest state of U.S.A; Rhodes Island celebrated the biggest Festival of the Lord of the Universe, Lord Jagannath’s Rath Yatra, with spectacular fanfare and spiritual fervour. The Lords’ abode at Sri Siddhi Vinayak Temple at Warwick, was elaborately and elegantly decorated befitting to the Grand Occasion. The day of the Seventh edition of Car Festival here began with the performance of special religious rituals like Mangala Arati and homo in front of the Four Deities in the morning by the priest Somnath Shastri. At about 11.30 a.m. the Idols were taken in Dhadi Pahandi procession by the servitors and spectators to the colourfully decorated chariot parked in front of the Temple. Floral ornamentation of Deities and Chariot were aesthetically and immaculately done by Padmini Panda and Jyotirmayee Routroy.

The entire atmosphere got reverberated with the chanting of hymns, roaring of slogans like Hari Bol and Jai Jagannath, blowing of conch and playing of musical instruments such as Ghanta, Mardala, Jhanja and Mrudanga. The splendid scene of Goddess Subhadra being carried in a swinging mode to the Chariot by exclusively lady worshippers was momentous and memorable. Unusual interest, unexpected enthusiasm and unprecedented excitements were visible among the Odia and Non Odia devotees gathered here along with their friends, family and relatives to take part in the Chariot pulling ceremony. People from far flung places like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts also descended at the Festival site in large numbers to have a holy glimpse of Trinity atop the Chariot and earn lifetime fortune and prosperity.

Social Leader Bibhuti Bhushan Routroy conducted the traditional service of sweeping in front of the chariot called Chhera Pahanra. With the rendering of Bhajans and Kirtans, the Ghosha Yatra commenced at 1.00 p.m. The Chariot was pulled till 1 Km in the outskirt of the Sri Siddhi Vinayak mandir compound and then taken back to the premises of the Temple. The auspicious sight of the Four Deities on board the Royal Chariot during their majestic sojourn on the streets of Warwick was just amazing and viewer’s delight. After coming back from the Yatra, the Deities were offered delicious Prasad prepared in the style of Ananda Bazar of Puri, which was later parcated by the devotees gathered.

This year’s Car Festival witnessed an outstanding Cultural extravaganza consisting of soul soothing rendition of Bhajans by Sourya Mishra, Pragyan Behera, Sunil Kumar Dooda and Preeti Priyadarshini, presentations of prolific semi classical dance performance by Hezal Sonali Sunny Zaveri and recital of scintillating Odissi Dance choreographies in front of the Chariot by Akanksha Pattnaik. The cultural session was ably coordinated and moderated by Pankaj Panda and Archana Yadav.

The entire arrangements of Rath Yatra was well organized and smoothly executed with the overall guidance by World Odisha Society’s International Co-ordinator Akshay Mohanty and supporting team of able Organisers like Babita Mohanty, Mummun Das, Mani Mahapatra, Subhransu Mohanty, Simmy Mahapatra, Saroj Behera, Saurabh Mishra, Soumyashree Dash, Bishwa Patnaik, Chandra Sekhar Mohanty, Santosh Behera, Lina Patnaik, Sukanta Patra, Kalpana Mohanty, Karuna Meheta, Devasish Panda, Siddhant Bohidar, Asmita Pattnaik, Nani Babu, Anup Mohanty, Ajit Nayak, Smita Patnaik, Sovdeep Das, Rohan Mohanty, Kartik Mohanty, Ronak Mohanty and Shradha Nayak.

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