COLOURFUL chariots are set to roll out from Bournemouth Pier in a striking procession for an annual Indian celebration.

The divine Chariot Festival of Lord Jagannatha is an annual procession that is celebrated mainly in the Indian state of Odisha on the country’s east coast, and has been tradition for more than a thousand years.

Each year, giant wooden chariots carry the deities Jagannath, a form of Lord Krishna, as well as his brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra, pulled by their devotees.

This year, on Saturday, May 18, colourful chariots will be pulled in a beachfront procession starting at Bournemouth Pier, near the observation wheel.

The ‘enchanting’ procession, organised by the Indian Cultural Association of Dorset and Iskcon Bournemouth, promises soul-stirring music, joyous singing and exuberant dancing.

Attendees can hand-pull the chariot themselves, immersing themselves in the ‘transcendental experience of devotion and celebration’.

The grand processions were introduced to the west by Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1967 in San Francisco.

It is now marked by colourful celebrations and processions across the UK, with the biggest celebration taking place in London.

The Bournemouth celebration will run between 12pm and 3pm on Saturday, May 18, beginning at the observation wheel in pier approach.