Festival is a kind of celebration. It has got a religious bias. Different festivals are celebrated by different religious groups. Hindus observe a lot of festivals round the year. The car-festival at Puri is the greatest of them. It is most dignified festival in the Hindu, World. This festival is held in many places of India. But the one which is held at Puri is the greatest.
The car-festival is observed generally in the month of July. But the exact date various from year to year.
Prior to this day. A large number of Hindus flock to Puri from different parts of India. The Railways suffer from heavy rush of people. The pilgrims are compulsorily given anti-cholera inoculation at the Railway Station, Puri. The priests of the Puri template and their representatives make a big business over the pilgrims. They make a lot of money during this occasion. The shop-keepers and many other businessmen ear a lot during this period. The three deities of the Puri temple are known by the name Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra. On they day of festival, they are brought from the temple and placed on the three different wooden chariots. These chariots are quite enormous in size. Might string are attached to these chariots. The chariots move when the pilgrims pull the strings onward. Million and millions of pilgrims gather around the chariots. They move as the chariots move. All are with full devotion of heart for the deities. Sounds raised by brass bands are too high. Sounds of the musical instruments rise high into the sky. Sounds of the carols are heard at every point. Prayer-song are not wanting. Chanting of the rituals are heard over as long way. All these confused sounds make a great noise at the time.
These holy chariots are drawn over a mile to the Gundicha House. In the said house, the deities stay for nine days. On the tenth day, the return journey is made to the Puri Temple. This is a part of the car-festival and this known as the holy return. This is also fine with equal pomp and grandeur. when the chariots arrive at the main temple the deities are carried into the temple and placed on their respective shrines. Then the gold attires are put on the holy idols.
The car-festival is the greatest festival of the Hindus. Every Hindu on any apart of the world bears a desire to see at least one in his life time.