As it happens every year, Ganesha temple of Paris Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam holds Ganesh Chaturthi. This year, it would have been held this Sunday August 30, 2020 for its 25th edition and would have seen again a wonderful and festive parade. Because of Covid-19, Ganesh Chaturthi has been cancelled and delayed to 2021.
This festival celebrates the birth of the God of New Beginnings, whose father beheaded him and replaced his head with an elephant’s. Ganesha is the son of deities Shiva and Parvati. Symbolizing love and knowledge, this elephant-headed deity is, for Hindus, at the origin of the world and many events in people’s life.
His birthday is celebrated with a great parade in La Chapelle neighborhood. His statue walks the streets on a decorated float followed by his brother Murugan. Note that on his way, he brings his blessing.
Religious ceremonies would have started at 9 a.m. at the temple. The procession would have left from the Temple at 10:30 a.m. and walked until 3 p.m.:
Parade route, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: CANCELLED
It is around the Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam temple – the biggest Hindu temple in France – that Ganesha is celebrated yearly in Paris. Throughout this festive day, religious ceremonies will take place before the procession in the streets of the neighborhood.
Leading the procession, will parade pipers, nageshvaram players and drummers, dancers wearing on their shoulders the large arch of peacock feathers (kavadi) and on their heads clay pots with burning camphor.
All along the route, coconuts will be cracked open: the shell symbolizing the illusion of the world, the flesh the individual karma and the water the human ego. By breaking the coconut, one offers his heart to Ganesha. The water of hundreds of coconuts will be poured on pavement when Ganesha float passes.
Pulled by two 20-m long ropes made of plant fiber, the 5-m high float houses the statue of Ganesha the elephant-headed god. It will be entirely covered in red and white fabrics and decorated with numerous garlands and fresh flowers, entire bananas bunches, coconuts and areca palm leaves.
The float will be followed by singers and musicians. All along the route, blessed offerings, treats and fresh drinks will be given away.
Here’s a foretaste of Ganesh Chaturthi in Paris:
This year again, thousands of people from the Hindu community from all over France and many curious passersby will not come to this Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 in Paris!
Temple de Sri Manicka Vinayakar Alayam
17 Rue Pajol
75018 Paris 18
Métro : Marx Dormoy - La Chapelle
RER - SNCF - Eurostar : Gare du Nord
BUS : 48 - 60 - 65 et 350