This entire week has been all about Ganesha (Ganapathi), the “Hermês of Hindustan” (a personal moniker à la interpretatio graeca I’ve reserved for the jolly god of beginnings and good fortune), as Hindus and Indophiles around the world celebrate Ganesha Chaturthi:
Ganesha Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrated on the birthday (rebirth) of the god Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati.
The festival, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi (“festival of Ganesha”) is observed in the Hindu calendar month of Bhaadrapada, starting on the shukla chaturthi (fourth day of the waxing moon period). The date usually falls between 19 August and 20 September. The festival lasts for 10 days, ending on Anant Chaturdashi (fourteenth day of the waxing moon period).
Despite being completely overwhelmed by devotion for the elephant-headed lord, not to mention the intoxicating smell of butter and sandalwood, I managed to take a few pictures of this Monday’s opening ritual:
Although the festival lasts for 10 days, the community is going to hold the Visarjan (immersion ritual) for Ganesha tomorrow, the ninth. Naturally, I’ll be there. Anything for the elephant-headed Hermês!
May the old gods of these islands, once ruled by great rajahs of the Majapahit Empire, rejoice at the coming and going of Ganapathi, their lord! Jai Ganesha! Jai Ganapathi! Morya!