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Indian Culture Celebrated at Ratha Yatra, Festival of Chariots in Novi

Indian Culture Celebrated at Ratha Yatra, Festival of Chariots in Novi

Novi, MI – In Ratha Yatra, the Indian Festival of Chariots, a large chariot is pulled through the streets by hundreds of helpers sharing two strong ropes. The 5,000 year old festival takes place in over 700 cities around the world, after leaving India 50 years ago. According to the Rath Yatra website “The Festival celebrates Lord Krishna’s return to Vrindaban and is held annually in the months of June-July to honor Lord Jagannatha. Millions of people from around the world descend upon of Jagannath Puri (India) to celebrate this unbelievable festival.”

On Saturday Novi’s Fuerst Park hosted Michigan’s Rath Yatra event. Mayor Bob Gatt, County Commissioner Hugh Crawford and members of Novi City Council welcomed event organizers in an opening ceremony before the crowd began pulling the four-story chariot towards 10 Mile Road for a three-mile journey through Novi.

“We’re a city that celebrates diversity and the Festival of Chariots is one of our favorites that we host every year,” said Mayor Gatt. “Peace and happiness, isn’t that something that we all want? On behalf of 60,000 people in Novi and my fellow council members here we wish you all peace and happiness.”

Madhu Mahadeun, one of the organizers for the event, said “No matter who you are, where you come from, or who you may become tomorrow, it is a universal festival that brings peace and happiness to the heart.” He explained that pulling the rope together helps people pull love into their lives and their hearts.

Learn more about Ratha Yatra at

Find more local events at


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