The annual Festival of India is back in Toronto this summer with a massive parade in the downtown core and a full weekend of festivities.
The 51st annual Festival of India is taking place on July 15th and 16th, 2023 and it is free for all to attend.
The two-day celebration includes a parade down Yonge Street featuring three ornate, 40-foot-tall floats hand-pulled by participants, singing, drumming, and dancing. And celebrations at Centre Island.
Here’s a breakdown of the entire weekend.
The procession will begin on July 15th at 11 AM at the intersection of Yonge and Dundas Square and goes down Yonge Street, ending at Queens Quay.
“The parade down Yonge Street echoes an annual procession that has occurred for centuries in the ancient city of Puri, India. There, three mammoth chariots, known as rathas are taken on a jubilant procession, called a yatra,” shares organizers.
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“Hence, the Festival is also known as Ratha-Yatra or ‘chariot procession’. In Puri, this age-old Ratha-Yatra procession continues to attract over a million people every year!”
All parade participants and attendees are encouraged to join in the fun by singing and chanting along to the Hare Krishna mantra.
After the parade, Festival of India celebrations continues for the rest of the weekend at Centre Island so if you plan on attending the free celebration, make sure to get your ticket for the ferry.
Though transportation won’t be free, the vegetarian feast will be, along with other family-friendly activities.
Expect activities like a massive, outdoor tented pavilion, acclaimed music, dance, & drama performances, a South Asian Bazaar, traditional face-painting, seminars, and an outdoor yoga experience.
Mark your calendars and add this event to your summer bucket list!
When: July 15 to 16, 2023
Where: Toronto Centre-Island