Jai Jagannath, these two words cast a magic spell on any devout Oriya living anywhere in the world. Lord Jagannath shares an exceptional relationship with Oriyas. For them, he is Jaga, Kalia, Chakadola, Chakayana. The day of this Ratha yatra is considered to be the most auspicious in the Oriya together. When Lord Jagannath revered as Patitabhan in a rare gesture of divinity comes out from the shrine to shower blessings on his devotees, the divine sight of him and his fellow deities redeems one from all sins.
This festival said to be the most significant religious congregation after the Kumbh Mela; the Ratha Yatra in Puri spreads over 11 days. The most significant draw of devotees is seen on the days of chariots are pulled, the actual Ratha Yatra day and the Bahuda Yatra, or return car festival. This is the only occasion when everybody has access to the deities. Puri is also considered as one of the Chaar Dhams, 4 religious and holy spots.
The people who help in the pulling of the chariot consider it a pious deed and are also willing to risk their lives in the bargain by making their way through the vast crowd. The large procession that usually accompanies the chariots plays many devotional songs accompanied by drums, tambourines, trumpets, among other instruments. Children often throng the streets through which the giant chariot passes while adding to the celebrations. The Ratha carts are around 45 feet (14 m) high and are pulled by thousands of devotees that attend this auspicious event. A new chariot is built every year from a particular type of tree. Devotees from other parts of the globe also come to Puri during this time for the festival. The annual event is also broadcast on many Indian and foreign television channels with live telecasts available.