|Jim and our host and friend, Pallay|
It was disappointing that on Sunday it rained, but that didn't stop the horde of Hindus from showing up to the small temple to worship. We could hear the bells clanging in town before we walked up the steep, paved road and multi-level steps. We trudged through mud to get to the door.
Men tended a celebratory fire pit outside and we removed our shoes. Women and little girls dressed in their finest saris sat on woven mats on the floor. A narrow path led to the Ganesha. Flower wreaths and food offerings brightened the altar. The second we walked in I began coughing from the rolling clouds of incense. The open windows helped a bit. We paid our respects to the altar by rotating a silver platter with candles, incense and marigolds around the deity several times and took a seat in the back on the floor.
|Ganesha paraded through town|
Pallay escorted us outdoors a couple hours later where we were served food. The men served sweets like rice pudding and groundnut laddoos (a crumbly cookie). There was also a pasty, sweet dish with raisins and coconut. Everyone ate with their hands. Later we had lunch, a vegetarian delight.
Strong men loaded the Ganesha on a palanquin and the crowd followed him through town. Colored powders in pink, blue, green and orange were tossed into the mass of colorful people or rubbed on faces, hair and clothing. People danced in the streets, sang and chanted. MORYA! It was quite the spectacle as Ganesha was taken to the ocean and released into the water, taking the misfortunes of mankind with him.