Well, yesterday was the annual Ganesha procession in the 10th and 18th arrondissements, and I was irresistably attracted to it as usual. When I looked out of my window relatively early, there were already the distributors of jasmine garlands and of course the sanitation workers preparing for a very busy work shift.
So I went out and found a big crowd gathered at the temple.
The procession route is washed down ahead of time, the participants being barefoot.
The procession comes out of this street first, rue Philippe de Girard.
The balloons are all from mobile phone operators, mostly Lyca, LeBara and Ortel.
There are all sorts of other banners as well.
Most of the restaurants here have outdoor tables only on this day.
A lot of the shops will be doing a huge amount of business today and are prepared for it.
There are actually fewer piles of coconuts than there used to be. I suspect that they were a victim of their success, since a special dance and ceremony has to be done in front of each and every pile. It seems likely to me that some sort of official or informal rule has been put in place so that there are not too many piles too close to each other.
The procession would not be starting for almost an hour, but the Faubourg Saint Denis was extremely busy in preparation.
Colourful posters advertise other upcoming events.
Even some of the Muslim commerces now celebrate Ganesha.
You certainly got deeper into it than we did. The crush where we were at (near the RER Magenta exit at Fauberg St. Denis was crazy. I was torn by wanting to stay with my wife and daughter, get into the crowd to take pictures, and not take space away from people that were there to celebrate.
Where we were at was also where they turned around on Fauberg St. Denis, which made things extra chaotic for the procession. I've got at least a hundred photos to sort through, though.
And the Jasmine garland sellers were out in force. It seems there are two (?) kinds of jasmine used in making these? Some smelled strongly of jasmine, others weren't as pungent (from what we could smell as they walked past). But they were definitely doing a good business.
Although it was pretty futile. The procession moves very slowly, so a minute or two later, the crowd had piled back into the street. But finally we see some movement from down the street, and the truck selling offering plates (I think?) came into view
Thanks for this report, kerouac. I would love to see this event in Paris sometime. Unfortunately, in Vancouver the Ganesh Chaturthi happens at the Hindu Mandir in Surrey and is a somewhat private community affair, taking place for the most part indoors, so I wouldn't feel comfortable attending. How wonderful that it is such a large, outdoor, neighbourhood affair in Paris!
But at that point, my daughter was done, so we headed out of the area, and just in time, too. Wave after wave of people were coming out of the RER Magenta station exit... It seems that as crowded as it was, the main crowds were just arriving...
It was fun, but next time I think I'd be in the shade, with lots of water, and have left the stroller at home. The stroller was just too hard to deal with in the crush of people.
Frankly, I quite like the video myself, especially since when one is recording 20 or so little snippets of activity, there is no way of knowing if they will fit harmoniously together in the end. And there is actually only one tiny clip that was moved from its chronological order in an attempt to improve continuity.
I practically swoon from the cooking aromas when I walk through the streets there. I am really frustrated because when I make Indian food, it never smells quite that good -- I am clearly missing an ingredient or two, but I don't know which ones!
Another wonderful photo report on this huge festival! Super photos from Kerouac and Woody. I am saving your video until tomorrow Kerouac so that I have lots of time to view and savor it
Maybe it's not only the missing spices Kerouac but the method they are put together. Maybe you could flatter some of the places where the aromas are fragrant and enticing, into giving you some of their secrets....
Kerouac, I finally got a chance to watch the video. It really captures the event in a way that the pictures don't, especially the dancing of the men with the peacock feathers. I wish I'd been able to see them dancing!