Ganesh Festival 2008
As we are smack in the middle of the
Ganesh immersion festival, the city is throbbing to the nightime sounds
of celebration. The other night I scooted down to our street to grab a
play-by-play depiction of the excitement in all its glory.
Something I'd never seen before, however,
were the large horns that were accompanying the drums. (Notice that the
musicians are barefoot?) These blast from time to time, as the idol follows.
Every so often the party will stop and
someone will set off fireworks. The ones depicted here are merely large
Roman candles, but people have access to all sorts of fiery, shooting,
booming devices that light up the skies.
When an immersion parade passes by, it
is often led by troupes of sweating young men, feverishly beating on drums
with all their might. These are easily audible in the house, and often
keep the kids (and even parents) awake.
The procession follows, as a well
lit-up truck covered with flower garlands (marigolds are really big here).
This particular one had its own generator truck following right behind,
supplying all the power for the lights and music. The crowds were packed
all around - front, sides, and back - and made quite the sight.
Inside the truckbed, dressed up guardians
of the god surrounded the idol, and every so often the vehicle would stop
to let devotees get on.
After the back was filled, the ladder
was pulled up, the singing and chanting inside began anew, and the procession
started moving again.
The main crowd headed on down the
road, eventually (I'm guessing they had at least another two hours to go)
reaching a place to immerse the idol. Other floats followed, including
this one with a more modern take on the drums that should accompany such
Ganesh celebration pages: Street lights
- Procession - Household ritual and
the immersion itself
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