A few weeks ago I attended the Ratha Yatra celebrations in Manchester Cathedral Gardens. The celebrations were to mark the Hare Krishna festival of Ratha Yatra. Hare Krishna is a religious movement who believe that humans are eternal souls part and parcel of their believed god – Krishna. Those following the movement chant and practice Bhakhi Yoga on a regular basis. As a baptized Catholic (who is somewhat Agnostic), I love experiencing and learning about other religions, I have been to Passover dinners and celebrations and I have been to Diwali celebrations and Melas along with being to events and services from a mixture of different Christian faiths such as the Methodists and the Salvation army.
It was a lovely way to spend a warm spring afternoon and very interesting. Hare Krishna beliefs mean followers are vegetarian so there was some lovely food available, although the curry contained yogurt I tried the potato, a spiced rice dish and some delicious fresh vegetable pakora. It was a small but colorful event consisting of a procession, dancing and chanting. I liked that charitable donations were being taken at the event, as one of the things I like about organised religion despite believing it causes many problems, is the fact many religious movements raise lots of money for charity or have their own charitable organisations such as homeless shelters.
If you would like to discover more about the Hare Krishna movement then click here – http://www.iskconmanchester.com/Teachings.html They welcome the public to many events and are happy to discuss their beliefs at length, food is usually served at gatherings and celebrations.