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August 31, 2015

La Fête de Ganesh 2015

by soundlandscapes

IT’S THAT TIME of the year again! An annual colourful procession through the streets of the 18th arrondissement, an elephant representing Genesha, the Hindu deity of wisdom, propriety and good fortune, people adorned with strings of jasmine and shattered coconuts laying at the roadside means that it must be La Fête de Ganesh.

Fête de Ganesh 2015

The Parisian Fête de Ganesh begins at the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam temple in rue Pajol, the largest Hindu temple in France, where religious ceremonies precede the procession through the streets of the neighbourhood.

As the procession gets underway, a water truck precedes it and the streets are washed. It seems that cleanliness really is next to godliness.

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Leading the procession are the drum dancers.

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Dancers carrying an arch of peacock feathers on their shoulders come next …

Fête de Ganesh 2015

… and then ladies carrying clay pots with burning camphor on their heads.

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Next, pulled by two large ropes made of vegetable fibre each twenty metres long, comes the five metre high chariot carrying the statue of Ganesh, the God with an elephant’s head. The chariot is entirely covered with red and white cloth and decorated with garlands of fresh flowers, bananas and areca wrapped in betel leaves.

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Coconuts play a significant part in the procession. Piles of them are placed at the roadside and during the procession they are broken by smashing them onto the ground. The coconut shell symbolises the world, the flesh represents individual Karma and the coconut milk the human ego. By breaking the coconut, one offers one’s heart to Ganesh.

The milk from hundreds of coconuts is spread across the streets for Ganesh’s chariot to pass over.

Fête de Ganesh 2014

Singers and musicians follow Ganesh’s chariot and throughout the course of the procession offerings are made and food and drink distributed.

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Sounds of la Fête de Ganesh 2015:

With its vibrant colours, intoxicating exotic smells and multi-textured, rhythmical sounds, la Fête de Ganesh is truly a multisensory experience.

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Fête de Ganesh 2015

Fête de Ganesh 2015

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