Fact Check: Old Video Of Madurai’s Chithirai Festival Viral As 2022 Jagannath Rath Yatra

A video of a huge crowd is being shared on social media with a claim that it was shot during the recent Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri.

It is being shared with the caption: “सनातन क्या है जानने के लिए एक उदहारण के तौर पर इस वीडियो क्लिप को देखे श्रद्धा क्या होती है? अनुशासन क्या होता है? देखना चाहेंगे? तो देखिए जगन्नाथ जी की रथ यात्रा का यह वीडियो क्लिप। करोड़ों लोग एक साथ, एक लय में चलते हुए! कोई कुछ भी कहे, लेकिन अगर सत्य कहीं है, सहनशीलता कहीं है, अनुशासन कहीं है, दृढ़ता कहीं है, भक्ति कहीं है, शक्ति कहीं है तो वह सनातनियों में ही है… अहा! मंत्रों की यह पवित्र ध्वनि, यह दुर्लभ दृश्य। कोई मंत्रमुग्ध हुए बिना रहे भी तो कैसे रहे जयतु सत्य सनातन संस्कृति”

(English translation: To know what is Sanatan, watch this video clip as an example. What is faith? What is discipline? Would like to see it? So watch this video clip of Jagannath ji‘s Rath Yatra. Millions of people moving in unison, together! Whatever one may say, if there is truth, tolerance and discipline somewhere, if there is perseverance, devotion and strength somewhere, then it is only in the Sanatanis… Aha! This sacred sound of mantras, this rare sight.. Jayatu Satya Sanatan Sanskruti)

Here’s the link to the above post.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the video, and found it to be misleading.

We extracted keyframes of the video and put them through a Reverse Image Search. The search led us to the same video uploaded on YouTube on October 11, 2018. The title of the video in English translation was: “Where is this sea of people..! This is your Madhura Meenakshi Ammavari Rath Yatra in our Madurai.”

The same video also had been shared on YouTube on May 8, 2017, with a caption: “Chithirai Festiv — Car No 2, 2017.”

Based on this, we found that Chithirai Festival known as Chithirai Thiruvizha, Meenakshi Kalyanam or Meenakshi Thirukalyanam is celebrated for 15 days, during the month of April, in Madurai in a grand manner.

According to the Tamil calendar, Chithirai is the first month of the year and on the full moon day of this month, Madurai celebrates Chithirai festival.

We found pictures of celebrations from different years, where the same rath can be seen. Read the articles here, here and here.

Thus, we can ascertain that the video is of the Chithirai Festival in Madurai, and has been on the internet since long time.

However, the video of the 2022 Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath can be seen here, where the Rath is evidently different.

Hence, based on the above facts, it can be concluded that the video is being shared with a misleading claim.

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