Hindu Festival In The Middle Of Nevada Desert

NewsPost, India/August 27, 2007

A traditional Indian rath yatra, or a chariot procession, a Hindu wedding and a life size temple of Lord Jagannath are among the major highlights of this year's annual Burning Man festival in Nevada desert.

A Krishna camp will also be organised at the seven-day festival beginning Aug 27 when an American couple will get married in traditional Hindu style. A replica of the Lord Jagannath temple with life-size deities has been erected.

About 40,000 participants gather annually for the festival and create Black Rock City in Nevada desert, about 205 km from Reno. The festival, dedicated to self-expression, self-reliance and art, takes its name from the ritual of burning a large wooden sculpture of a man on the sixth day.

The giant chariot for Lord Jagannath - much like the one that is drawn annually at Puri in Orissa - has been transported specially from Vancouver in Canada to Nevada, travelling over 1,600 km and costing over $2,000 in transportation, according to organisers of the festival.

Annabelle Younger, one of the coordinators of the Krishna camp, said that devotees of Lord Krishna from around the world have helped set up the camp, costing about $20,000.

About 1,000 people are expected to participate in the procession every day, which will be watched en route by about 35,000 people, when it goes around the temporary Black Rock City, travelling about three kilometres.

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