mercredi 31 août 2011
La 16ème Fête de Ganesh à Paris
Every year the Sri Manika Vinayakar Alayam Temple in Paris celebrates Ganesh Chaturthi, or Fête de Ganesh as it is called here. Crowds of people come bearing offerings, decorations are strung in windows and balloons line the street. Children are all smiles in their fancy clothes, men wear dhotis and women dressed in beautiful saris tie jasmine garlands in their hair. The air is full of excitement, and music plays while kavadis and piles of coconuts are readied.
The religious ceremony in the temple started at 9:00am. The statues were then carried out to the street. Here, people were putting the finishing touches to the float and lining up to wait for the procession, set to start at 11:00am.
It was a big event for this otherwise quiet Sunday in August. Luckily, I managed to wedge myself into a doorway to sketch as best I could among all the people. Here, I tried to capture just some of the elements I saw as people prepared: a very sketchy sketch of one of the colorful kavadis that some dancers would later carry on their shoulders, standard bearers lining up, and a woman with a pot of burning camphor on her head getting ready to lead the way...
Finally, here is a fairly impressionistic report of the lively dancing that began before the procession hit the streets.
To make more sense (?) of this drawing, here is a link to a video of the festival in action.