The Hindu festival in Paris

(The following post contains a considerable number of photos, I hope you’ll reach the end of it. If you do let me know 🙂 )

The date is September 1st, the place is Paris. People are on their balconies or in the streets taking photos. What’s out there?

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Well it’s Ganesha Chaturthi, the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati.

It’s been four years since I’m in Paris but I don’t know how I missed this event for the past years. Actually, I found out about it through “The Paris Photography Meetup Group” which is a group of cool photography passionate .

The event is unusual and fascinating, especially for someone who is new to the Hindu culture.

The parade begins from the temple. Two main chariots are drawn by men and women, each apart.

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Some musicians and colorfully garnished dancers proceed the chariots creating some great vibes.

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One of the best and most strange moments of the festival is the “Coconut smashing”. Every while, the parade stops and people start smashing coconuts that are offered to Ganesha. The hard shell represents the illusion of the world, the white part of the fruit represents the personal KARMA and the water the human ego. Smashing the coconut means offering the heart to Ganesha.

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During the parade, Hindus go out of their shops and houses and make stands with offerings.  When the chariots pass, people give the offerings to the man in chariot and get blessed by putting some powder on their fruits and foreheads.

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Traditionally, the festival ends with the immersion of idols made of Plaster of Paris into lakes, rivers and the sea. In Paris, this step is not included in the parade.

Please don’t hesitate to correct me if I said something wrong about the feast.

And now some random shots from people marching in the parade 🙂

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