El Paso to host Festival of Chariots, all are invited to experience Indian tradition, food and culture

 Enjoy a burst of color, the aroma of fresh flowers and the tastes of India when the Festival of Chariots returns to downtown El Paso on Saturday, October 8, 2022

The Festival of Chariots, an annual celebration of Indian culture and tradition, will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the parking lot located at 401 East Main Street (across from Hotel Indigo) in Downtown El Paso.

The headlining event, a parade of chariots (Ratha Yatra), will kick off at 3:30 p.m., at the parking lot located at Campbell Street and Mills Avenue and will proceed down Mills to Oregon Street and then Main Street before ending back at the parking lot at Campbell and Mills. The celebration will be held in conjunction with the City of El Paso’s Chalk the Block festival.

“We are so excited to bring back this special holiday, Ratha Yatra, to our El Paso community,” said festival organizer Madhi Nair. “We are also excited to partner with Chalk the Block to offer El Pasoans a weekend of fun, culture and art.”

Guests will also be able to learn more about Indian culture through a FREE vegetarian feast; a gift shop with jewelry, textiles, apparel, spiritual literature and more; authentic Indian music/kirtan; theatrical performances; an Ayurvedic Tent; Vedic Astrology readings; yoga; a meditation booth; henna and face painting and more.

World-renowned kirtan musician Gaura Vani will perform at the festival, along with performances by artists from the Prema Collective. Attendees can participate in yoga and meditation and all activities, food and performances are free to the public.

The tradition of celebrating Ratha Yatra goes back thousands of years and is one of the most celebrated events in India and worldwide. Ratha Yatra is derived from two Sanskrit words, Ratha which means chariot or carriage, and jātrā, which means journey or pilgrimage. These Hindu festivals are an important element of Hare Krishna expression. The traditional chariots that will be featured at our El Paso parade have been designed and constructed over months in Los Angeles.