On 9th August 2015 we attended the Chariot Festival at the Shri Kanaga Thurkkai Amman (Hindu) Temple. The Chariot Festival, a procession from the temple along the streets that surround the temple in West Ealing, is the culmination of the 27 day Mahotsavam Festival held annually every August.
The procession day is preceded by almost a month of preparations involving cultural and religious events commencing with a special flag raising ceremony held of July 17th. The faith community is also involved in a great deal of creative activity making many flower garlands and preparing the chariots on which the gods leave the temple and are transported outside as well as decorating the temple.
The procession attracts as many as 10,000 people who come to participate in the procession and worship most of whom are part of the Sri Lankan diaspora in London. The festival spreads out into Dean Gardens, where many food stalls and organizational stands were set up and was also attended by Ealing’s mayor and local MPs as well as other civic leaders.
It was a privilege to attend the festival and to be made so welcome by the temple. We will post about the festival in more detail soon. However, if you would like to get a flavor of the event, please visit this link to see more pictures taken by our PhD researcher and photographer, Laura Cuch on the day:
and from our administrator