Tomorrow is Ganesha Chaturthi and we are excited for two reasons: we get to experience our first India festival and we get a three day weekend! We’ve decided to take advantage of the long weekend by spending time in downtown Bengaluru and doing some things that might normally be more difficult with the traffic between us and city center. That will also put us near some significant celebrations and allow us to visit some ancient temples.
On today’s walk, I saw a vendor selling Ganesh statues. Tomorrow begins 11 days of celebration in honor of the birthday of Ganesh (via a complicated “birth” story that involves beheading and reanimation with an elephant’s head). In the next few days, people will mostly have family events with special sweets and altars to Ganesh set up in their homes. Toward the end, the statues from the altars will be submerged in bodies of water around the city, sending Ganesh home,taking all of our misfortunes with him. Unfortunately, this practice has evolved from traditional clay statues to brightly painted plaster of paris statues that kill the fish in those lakes. There’s a big awareness campaign on right now, so hopefully this year will be better than last, although my local vendor was selling both kinds.
We look forward to having some great stories next week!