Ratha Yatra, is a Hindu ceremony which refers to any Chariot procession along the streets. This is also known by names like Rathjatra or Chariot Festival. This festival is widely celebrated in the regions like Odisha and Jharkhand. This is considered to be a Odia Festival, which is celebrated with the procession of the Deities Jagannath, Balabhadra, Subhadra and Sudarshana Chakra, on a wooden chariot. This chariot is known as ‘Ratha’, in Sanskrit and Journey is known as ‘Yatra’, in Sanskrit. In this RathaYatra, public accompanies the Ratha and in few cases pulls the ratha, along the streets of the city.
This rathayatra is usually celebrated in the month of Asadha, according to the Hindu calendar, which usually falls in the month of June July, according to the Gregorian calendar. This is celebrated widely in Puri, where these Rathas are decorated with new colours and flowers. The idols of the god are placed in the centre, on the stage, so that all the citizens get a good view of the God and goddess. The height of the rathas are approximately 45 and 35 feet.
This is also named as ‘Chera Pahara’ and this is celebrated for two days. On the first day, the deities are taken to the garden house in Puri, known as ‘Mauri Maa Temple’ and the Second and the final day the deities are brought back to the Temple. These ratha yatras are followed from the ancient period and the rituals are also mentioned in the Puranas. Nowadays, in most of the major cities these ratha yatra are sighted and followed in all the Lord Vishnu temples. In addition to this, these are followed in many Shiva temples, as well. In 2018, this ritual will be followed on Julu 14th. However, the dates may vary according to the region.