>Travel Pictures


Ganesh Festival 2008

Immersion Parade

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 a gathering.

Ganesh celebration pages: Street lights - Procession - Household ritual and the immersion itself

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