Though the torrential rains in Mumbai have dampened the spirit a bit, but nothing comes in between Lord Ganesha and his devotees, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi. While many parts of the city were flooded on Tuesday (August 29), people still managed to ferry Ganesha idols across to be immersed, and many visarjans took place at night when the rain had somewhat subsided. But, it seems, Mumbai – or even India – is not the only place that Ganpati Bappa or Ganesh Chaturthi is held in such reverence. Fly over to the other side of the globe, and you will find that the ritual of Ganesha visarjan holds equal importance in the city of Ceuta, Spain.
If, in India, the festival brings together people of all caste, class and religion as they collective welcome, worship and bid farewell annually to their beloved elephant-headed deity, in Spain, it brings people from different cultures together as Indians and Spaniards collectively celebrate the festival.
Visuals of people coming together to take an idol of Ganpati Bappa with great fanfare to be immersed in the Mediterranean Sea have been shot by world photographers, and they are an exciting sight to behold. They are also testament to the idea that people from different cultures can come together in harmony and celebrate each others’ festivals in unison.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated in Ceuta, but this has been a tradition for many years now. Much like in India, people bring an idol of Ganesha home to worship, and then on the day of the immersion, there is an elaborate and fun-filled procession that walks through the streets towards the Mediterranean Sea. People then get on to various boats, and set off into the sea, where the idols are then immersed into the water.
This year, too, the festival was celebrated with full enthusiasm, and here are some pictures to give you a glimpse of Ganpati Bappa in Spain.
The festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is celebrated to honour the birth of Lord Ganesha. Observed during the month of ‘Bhadra’ (which falls during mid-August or September), this year the festival started on August 25 and will end on September 5. Ganesha is celebrated as the god of all beginnings and is worshiped at the start of any ritual or ceremony as he is known to ward off evil, remove obstacles and bring prosperity.