On the Origin of Hindu Festivals-Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1869)

In Hindu mythology, the sun is represented as moving in the heaven in a car, or rath. And so his car, or rath, is represented on earth, and made to conform to his motions in the heavens. At the same time that the sun moves in the heavens towards the solstice, stops there for a short time, and then recedes, his car on earth is in the same way made to move to a certain place, kept there for eight days, and then taken back in the same direction from which it was originally moved. It is true, Jagannath now rides the car, not the sun. But, like Madana and the Virgin, he has probably been made to give place to a more popular deity than himself.