Pattaya Ganesh festival begins Sept. 7

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At a recent event, worshippers prepare to immerse Ganesh images made of Plaster of Paris into the sea, symbolizing a ritual send-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.
At a recent event, worshippers prepare to immerse Ganesh images made of Plaster of Paris into the sea, symbolizing a ritual send-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.

Hindu and Buddhists again are celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in Pattaya with an eight-day festival that kicks off today, Sept. 7, and will culminate in the immersion of idols representing the “God of Success” in the sea to fete the son of supreme deity Shiva.

Chaiwat Dechnatee, president of the Pattaya Ganesh Lovers Club, announced details of the annual festival Aug. 31.

The celebration begins at Central Festival Marina Sept. 7 with the finale set for September 13 Bali Hai Pier.

Members of the club will take the Ganesh statue from Central Festival Marina to around the city in the morning on September 7. Throughout the week, people can come in the evening to pay respect with pure milk, coconut water, or water to shower the statue at the Central Festival Marina.

The main event takes place on September 13, the birthday of Ganesh. Worshipers will take the statue to the sea at Bali Hai pier in a ceremony lasting from 18.59 to 21.00.

The festival is Thailand’s largest of its kind. Past activities include fireworks, liturgy prayer ceremony, Ganesha head-covering ceremony, fire worship and exhibition of more than 2,000 Ganesha figurines.

The centerpiece of the event, however, is the ritual immersion of Ganesha images made of Plaster of Paris into the sea, symbolizing a ritual see-off of the Lord in his journey towards his abode in Kailash while taking away with him the misfortunes of his devotees.

The event is typically well attended, as Ganesh is among the most-transcendent of Hindu gods, worshipped throughout western and southeast Asia. In India, he is revered not only as a remover of obstacles, but a “god for everyman” and the “lord of beginnings.”

In Thailand, Buddhists recognize him as the “god of success,” appearing in Mahayana Buddhism texts in the form of the Buddhist god Vinayaka as well as a Hindu demon form with the same name.

For more information contact the club on 083-0934703 or 0813579879.