On Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesh’s birthday, it’s traditional to make clay statues of Ganesh, like the one that this woman is carrying. It will be installed and worshipped in a specially decorated home temple. They are preparing for a puja in the evening, as well as a family gathering that will include lots of sweets. Ganesh loves sweets.

The festival lasts for up to 11 days, depending on the location. There will be specially decorated pandals, or pavilions. On the last day, the statues are immersed in the ocean, or else in a nearby  river or  lake. The purpose of the immersion is to take away the misfortunes of the devotees.

Many temples have a car ceremony, where a portable murti, or statue, is brought out and carried through the streets. Here, the priest is performing arti after the murti was placed on the cart. Since today was Ganesh Chaturthi, Ganesh got an outing, although this particular temple is actually dedicated to Shiva. The cart is pulled by hand through the streets.The procession includes a band, with drums and horns. However, it might be a bit of a stretch to call what they were playing music. Maximum volume is the desired effect. I was just grateful that they didn’t have loudspeakers to amplify it further. This isn’t a major temple, so there weren’t huge crowds.

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