“Fête de Ganesh”, an annual colorful and joyful procession including a flowers-fruits-leaves decked float of Lord Ganesh, was held in Paris (France) on September 2, 2012..
Reports suggest that coconuts are cracked open along the route during this procession which leaves from Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam Hindu Temple after a religious ceremony through the streets lined with crowds. Devotees, bare-footed and bare-chested, pull the float which is lead by drummers, singers, pipers and dancers; while the procession is purified with saffron and rosewater. Procession goes a full circle starting and ending in Rue Pajol and is lead by women carrying earthen pots full of burning camphor on their heads, while area restaurants hand out food and drinks along the route.
Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of “Fête de Ganesh” organizers and area Hindu community to realize this wonderful Lord Ganesh procession and thus keeping the tradition alive.
Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this Fête would help in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of Self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.
In Hinduism, elephant-headed and human-bodied Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.