Jhulan Yatra

Jhulan Yatra

Between July and August; 17 days preceding the full moon of Sravana
A Hindu festival honoring Lord Jagannatha, Jhulan Yatra is observed in Orissa, a state in India's eastern region, and Bengal, a region shared by India and its eastern neighbor, Bangladesh.
Lord Jagannatha, which is an expression of the deity Krishna, is the reason for music, dancing, and merriment during Jhulan Yatra (also spelled Jhulan Latra ). This festival takes place over 17 days preceding the full moon of Sravana, a month of the Hindu calendar that falls sometime between July and August. The celebration, which culminates with the full-moon day, takes place ahead of Janmashtami, the festival marking Krishna's birth. Several towns and cities hold official celebrations, but the grandest of them takes place at the Temple of Jagannath in the Orissa town of Puri.
Jhulan Yatra means "swing festival" in Hindi, a reference to the ornately decorated contraption that is specially built to hold the idols of Jagannath and his lover, Radha. Over the course of several nights during the festival, people gather at nighttime to perform songs and dances before the idols. This ritual, known as the raslila, dramatizes scenes from Krishna's life. During the festival, people will also visit temples, where they can obtain forgiveness for sins and pray for wealth and prosperity.
CONTACTS:
Orissa Department of Tourism
Paryatan Bhawan
Museum Campus
Bhubaneswar, Orissa 751014 India
www.orissatourism.gov.in
SOURCES:
RelHolCal-2004, p. 173
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