This is the big one, immersions all day for those that kept their statue the full 11 days.
I went to our local beach after being advised by K. that getting much further south, to juhu and especially 'town' would probably not be a good idea being a foreign, female alone. There is a bit of drinking to accompany the festivities. That is ok there was plenty of excitement for me in the early afternoon.
I got out again in the evening to see the street processions, not the actual immersions at the beach. It was almost like watching a fourth of july parade. But lot's of saffron/orange rather than red/white/blue.
all the bananas for Prasad, either used in the ceremony or as a snack after the puja (prayers) and immersion of ganapti statue.
This was one of the most well planned and safe public events I have seen in India. There were several lifegaurds present, first aid station. people to direct traffic, barriers to guide traffic (and people were acutally following it). It appeared a lot of planning went into insuring the safety (lot's of talk of terrorism scares at big event such as this) and making sure things ran smoothly, traffic flow along all feeder streets to beach access roads. There were maps in the papers this morning.
Varieties of transport to the beach, carrying it in hand, the cart method featured here, car with the hatch open, big trucks carrying a big ganpati or small ganpati and large crowd. There are also processions with and without the marching band, and usually lots of red colored powder.
The puja or pooja (however you want to phoneticaly spell it) the prayer, of ganpati immersion ceremony.
The truck method of transport, on the proession/parade route.
The use what God gave you two feet method - the WALK!
Just one of the several immersions happening while I was at the beach, this group had three statues.
Another families ceremony, anyone in the area can join in clapping/singing if you are lucky you get prasad, cocunut or banana or small candies.
With my camera in hand I was very popular (as usual!) among the children. 'Auntie, auntie take my photo' although I prefer to call be called 'didi' (older sister) than auntie, doesn't make me feel like I am 33! This sweet girl was too shy to ask me for a photo, but followed me around - so I offered to take her photo.
My neighbors were out having a puja/immersion also.
And the actual immersions....
Another day in India!
It is almost 10pm and I still hear trucks full of people yelling, blowing horns (sounds like kazoos) cheering....I have heard it goes on until midnight! let's see, I was planning to go to bed early tonight.