I’ve rediscovered one of the reasons why I love cycling – I never know what I might see. Deer, wild turkeys, snakes, turtles, an endless variety of roadkill … but today was different.
I was looking for a fun ride to simply enjoy this beautiful autumn day, so I ventured down to the waterfront. It was a breezy day … the beach was deserted and the lake was churning out some bigger-than-usual waves.
A short distance into my ride, I encountered a large group of people ahead, singing. Actually it sounded more like chanting. Curiosity required me to stop and start asking questions of the young boy standing nearby. It turns out that it was the Hindu festival of Ganesha Chaturthi.
Now, I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have considerable curiosity about different customs and beliefs. This young chap and some of the others nearby were more than willing to educate me.
This festival honours the birth of Ganesha – the elephant-headed Hindu god – who is worshipped for removing obstacles and bringing good fortune.
The celebrations – which can vary in length – come to an end when the statue of Ganesha is taken by procession to a large body of water for immersion. According to the people I talked to, the immersion is symbolic – to discard the celebrants’ problems and life-obstacles … in other words, wiping the slate clean and starting a new year without the burdens of the previous year.
I rather like that concept. This is a ceremony I could get behind enthusiastically.
All I can say is, I continued on my bike ride with a lighter heart and a smile on my face.
All photos were taken with my Samsung Galaxy.