Durban, South Africa
Jesus / Jagannath
Every year, the Christian community holds a procession in the Chatsworth area where I’m accommodated. Perhaps it also goes on elsewhere in the Durban district. Being Good Friday, Jesus is remembered during this Easter weekend in many places around the globe.
The procession I viewed was comprised of followers on foot and in groups, each one having one person dressed as Christ, and two others as representatives of the Roman Empire who would feign flogging him as he carried a crucifix. There were cries of “Jesus” in a joyous tone. Most people in the procession were clothed in casual wear—T-shirt and pants, both men, women and children.
I’m glad to see that a spiritual theme of sorts is at the heart of Easter.
For Vaishnavas, those dear to Vishnu, or Krishna, (and hopefully perceived as dear to people) are also celebrating someone. His name also starts with a J. The name is Jagannath, which means “Lord of the World.” It is one of many names which refer to Krishna. A large procession takes place near the beachfront in Durban every year. Here, Krishna, His brother, and His sister are honoured in wooden image forms as they are situated on three large chariots pulled by ropes, as chanting happily pierces the air. Basically, we are looking at a re-enactment of an ancient festival from Puri, India. To my knowledge the procession has been an attraction for 2,000 years in that part of India—Orissa, although the original chariot ride by the threesome was much older.
Apparently Jesus visited Jagannath in Puri during his time.
May the Source be with you!