Toronto

Festival of India makes a stop in Toronto

Hundreds of people descended on Toronto on Saturday for the official opening of the annual Festival of India, an event filled with fanfare, religious fervour, enthusiasm and a spirit of camaraderie.

Event featured 3 representational deities, placed on chariots and pulled by a community of devotees

Hundreds joined the procession from Bloor and Yonge streets to Centre Island. (Nicole Reis)

Hundreds of people descended on Toronto on Saturday for the official opening of the annual Festival of India, an event filled with fanfare, religious fervour, enthusiasm and a spirit of camaraderie.

The two-day event kicked off with a parade from Bloor and Yonge streets to Centre Island, featuring three representational deities, placed on chariots and pulled by a community of devotees.

The festival, the largest of its kind in North America, is now in its 46th year.

Anne-Lise Dugas, a musician performing at the festival, said everyone should experience it at least once.

"Everyone is welcome," she said.

Another attendee, Saurov Bhattacharjee, said culture shouldn't be confined to a particular country or nation.

"Everyone can appreciate other people's cultures. That's how we grow," Bhattacharjee told CBC Toronto.

Pinakin Inamdr said he has travelled from Virginia to be part of the festival for the last three years.

The festival is identical to the traditional Rath Yatra festival that is celebrated in India.

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