It is during this time that the three deities of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are rendered in a grand procession in specially made gigantic temple-like chariots called Raths, which are pulled by thousands of devotees. It is said that whoever pulls the Rath is blessed. Anyone who comes in contact with the wind that has touched the Rath and the idols is purified and all the sins are washed away.
The festival begins with the Ratha Prathistha or invoking ceremony in the morning, but the Ratha Tana or chariot pulling is the most exciting part of the festival, which begins in the late afternoon when the chariots of Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra start rolling. Each of these carriages have different specifications: The chariot of Lord Jagannath is called Nandighosa, has 18 wheels and is 23 cubics high; the chariot of Balabhadra, called Taladhvaja has 16 wheels and is 22 cubics high; Devadalana, the chariot of Subhadra, has 14 wheels and is 21 cubics high.
Each year these wooden chariots are constructed anew in accordance with religious specifications. The idols of these three deities are also made of wood and they are religiously replaced by new ones every 12 years. After a
Nine day sojourn of the deities at the country, temple amidst festivities, deities are returned to the city temple of Lord Jagannath.
Rath Yatra is a great festival because of its ability to unite people in its festivity. All people, rich and poor, Brahmins or shudras equally enjoy the fairs and the joy in celebrating the Rath yatra.
Puja is performed of Jagannathji by offering prasad and lighting the lamp. On this day, people do puja of the basna/bahikhaata (account books).