The birthday of the god Ganesh, the popular elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati, is celebrated in all his temples across India. Hindus also recreate his likeness in thousands of plaster statuettes of all sizes, which are then honoured and carried in procession to the beat of percussion instruments.
On the beaches of Chowpatty and Juhu, the ceremonies become particularly intense at the end of the festivities, when the statues are immersed in the ocean. Traditional dances and songs accompany the ceremony. Ganesh Chaturthi is undoubtedly the most impressive festival held in the state of Maharashtra, but the elephant god is also widely celebrated in the rest of the country, especially in Chennai (formerly Madras).
5 September 2016