World ? Asia ? India

Ganesh Festival

A huge image of Ganesh is carried through the steets of Pune. Courtesy Of India Tourist Office

23 Aug 2009 (annual)
Ganesh, the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is widely worshipped as the supreme god of wisdom. The Ganesh Festival is celebrated in the states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, but is most extravagant in Pune (Poona).
During the festival, families and friends come together to eat modak, the famous sweet loved by the god, and enjoy organised theatre, art and music performances.

On the tenth day, plaster and clay images of Ganesh, many of them up to six metres high, are taken by families or small groups and carried in huge processions to be immersed in water. The immersion ceremony starts at around 5pm in the afternoon and often continues until the early hours of the following morning. The same route is always followed and it's lined with food stalls for the hungry and thirsty. It's not unusual for locals to camp out along the route to ensure that they get a good look at the idols.
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