International Celebrations – Rath Yatra to Bastille Day
Houston truly is a multicultural city where people enjoy all festivals and holiday events in harmony. Sunday, July 14, 2013 Houstonians experienced two mega event celebrations. The 6th Annual Houston Rath Yatra was organized by Orissa Culture Center and Shri Sitaram Foundation that witnessed more than 2,000 people from various communities gathered on a hot summer afternoon to pull the holy chariot.
An event of this magnitude was possible by tireless efforts of the entire Houston Odiya community. The Rath Yatra is a very holy festival for Hindus and many Houston organizations actively participated. Hindus of Greater Houston, ISKCON, Gaudiya Math, Hindu Worship Society, Meenakshi Temple, Houston Namadwaar, Sai Baba Temple, HDBS, Shiv-Shakti Temple, Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation, Gayatri Parivar, Guruvayurappan Temple, Ashtalakshmi Temple, Saidurga Shivavishnu Mandir, and other Organizations of Houston.
The streets of Houston by VPPS Haveli near Bellfort Village Drive Houston were transformed into the sacred land of Puri, India. For about six years the ritual has been successfully celebrated in Houston, a custom which has been celebrated for thousands of years in Puri, India. Jagannath Ratha Yatra is one of the oldest religious festivals in the world.
It was quite a colorful parade when Hindus of Houston enthusiastically dragged the 22ft tall beautifully decorated Rath (chariot), while men, women and children danced away chanting bhajans (sacred songs). An inspiring evening with a clearly stated purpose of bringing all religions, cultures and races together. The King for the ceremony was Mr. Vijay Pallod and Queen was his wife Mrs. Sushma Pallod, however the main highlight of the evening was promient ‘Bhajan Samarat’ (singer) Anup Jalota.
Meanwhile, fashionably dressed ladies and our very own sexy French Chef Philippe Schmit, in the spirit of ‘Bastille Day’ on Sunday, welcomed many French lovers at the very chic Philippe Restaurant for a late afternoon of French elite cuisine, music, fun and games. “Chef Philippe did an excellent job with an extensive french buffet with wine pairings. Live music that transformed us all to Paris. It reminded me of my childhood in Europe,” says Yasmine Haddad.
Spotted having an ooh la la time were: Alex Blair, Jacquie Baly, Gabriella Tempestad Aliberti, Karina Barbieri, Yasmine Haddad, and many others.