Ratha Yatra in Klang, Malaysia

This December, devotees in Klang, Malaysia, celebrated their Ratha Yatra festival, one of twenty across the country.

Preparation for the traditional cart festival honoring Jagannath, Baladeva and Subhadra begins months in advance, with Klang’s small congregation saturating the town with promotional pamphlets. The resulting support from townspeople, especially the shops in Little India, funds the event almost entirely.

“We worried that such a small congregation could pull off such a big festival,” says community member Jeyanthy Pillai. “Only one key person with a couple of helpers handled each major department. But with their enthusiasm and determination, they made it happen.”

The unpredictable tropical weather was also a concern, with heavy rain falling in Kuala Lumpur 45 minutes away. But amazingly, Klang remained dry and balmy on the day of the procession.