A significant milestone was achieved on the 2nd of October this year in China. The wheels of Lord Jagannātha’s chariot rolled for the first time on the streets of Communist China, also known as the Bamboo Curtain. In the historic city of Zhongshan, near Guangzhou, a congregation of 200 people including about 50 local Hare Kṛṣṇa devotees from the Bhakti Yoga Centre followed in the procession amidst ecstatic kirtan. Four devotees from Sri Krishna Mandir, Singapore, headed by His Grace Sundar Gopal Das, flew there particularly on the invitation of the Chinese devotees to participate in the festivities and to further inspire the devotees there.
Hare Kṛṣṇa devotees from many diverse parts of China assembled at the Hare Kṛṣṇa temple in Zhongshan during their annual week-long October holidays to celebrate the Ratha Yatra festival. In this way, they all get to associate with senior devotees for one full week and learn from them how to advance on the path of bhakti-yoga or devotional service.
The festival was very much appreciated by the general public as they joined in the kirtan by clapping hands and dancing. During and after the festival, Kṛṣṇa Prasādam was distributed to a few hundreds of people. Given the Communist rule, the people hardly get any chance to witness blissful festivals like these.
Last year, we had a palanquin festival for Their Lordships Jagannātha, Baladeva and Subhadra Devi. This year, the Chinese devotees have constructed a beautiful chariot for Their pleasure. And that chariot became the cynosure of all eyes during the festival.
You can watch the video of the Ratha Yātra at