Durban: Festival of Chariots

Ratha YatraThis Easter, Durban will celebrate Cultural Diversity in Style.  The Festival of Chariots, Durban’s premier cultural beach Festival, turns 25!  Partnering with the eThekwini Municipality, the organisers are putting on a phenomenal Beach Festival, that is still completely free, and open to all.

This year’s Durban Festival of Chariots will be held on the lawns of the Bay of Plenty, from the 29th March to 1st April, from 11am to 10pm daily.   Inspired by Mayor James Khumalo’s call for a socially cohesive society, the festival has adopted the theme of “Culturally Many, Spiritually one”.  The organisers have succeeded in enlisting some of the very best performers and entertainers, to give locals and holiday makers enough reason to be in Durban this holiday season.

festival of chariots south africa
The Chariot /Float Parade will take place on Upper and Lower Marine Parade on Friday 29th March, from 11am to 2pm.  Traditional fifteen metre high chariots will be joined by community floats, drummies, brass bands, Chinese dragons and dancers, to create a wonderful carnival spirit.

The procession will culminate on the lawns of the Bay of Plenty, between Joe Cools and the Skate Park, where the festival will continue for the next three days.

A three-thousand seater marquee, with state of the art sound and lighting, will be the venue for a daily nonstop stage show. Visitors will be spoilt for choice.  The programme has everything for everyone, including the best South African Indian, African and Hip Hop dance groups, riveting drama directed by international artists, classical and contemporary music and song,  and oral poetry by well known South African poets.  Special highlights have been planned for each day. On Friday night, the Kwa Mashu Gospel Choir will help create the musical ambience for hundreds of festival goers to light up the night skies in a Prayer Lantern Festival.  On Saturday afternoon, South African Masterchef Deena will facilitate a Celebrity Cook-off.  Saturday night will see South Africa’s home-grown phenomenon Drum Cafe create a dynamic interactive event with 600 drummers in the audience? The KZN Philharmonic Orchestra will provide wonderful family-oriented entertainment on Sunday evening, and the highlight of Monday evening will be one of South Africa’s most popular bands, Freshly Ground, performing some of their international hits.

The rest of the festival site will be transformed into an entertainment and retail Mecca. Festival visitors will delight in the art, craft, book, gift, face painting and home industry stands, as well as the dozens of good food stalls, sprawled along the beachfront

Health, Wellness and Lifestyle will be major festival proponents.   A Beach Yoga Meltdown, expert practitioners of various health sciences and leaders in the self empowerment industry, will all join in demonstrating, and discussing strategies to improve the quality of our lives. The Beach Yoga Meltdown will be co-ordinated by world renowned Yoga Instructor Charu Chandra, personal instructor to Hollywood Movie stars.

Invited dignitaries include King Goodwill Zwelithini, Mayor James Khumalo’s, the  KZN Premier, City Managers, Heads of Consulates, leading Cultural, Academic and Religious Leaders.

This festival promises to be the most exciting, vibrant and enlivening affair and the best part is….it’s free.  Everyone is invited to attend.

For further information, contact Anuradha devi dasi – 082 728 5154 

ratha yatra


About Naufal Khan

Publisher & editor of Indian Spice.

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