Hindu and Buddhists are again celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in Pattaya, using a 15-day festival at Lan Po Public Park to immerse idols representing the “god of success” in the sea to fete the son of supreme deity Shiva.
The Sept. 8-23 event organized by the city and the Pattaya Ganesh Lovers Club kicked off with a parade through Pattaya on Sept 8, to display Ganesh’s image so followers could pray for their own success and obstacles to be removed. Pattaya officials and club leaders then led followers in an evening candle-lighting ceremony.
The Sept. 8 parade kicked off this year’s Ganesh Chaturthi festival.
A second parade will be held Sept 19 beginning at 4:19 p.m. at Lan Po Public Park in Naklua. The parade will go around Pattaya, ending at Wat Chonglom in Naklua. Religious ceremonies at Wat Chonglom will begin at 7.39 p.m. and will include Lord Graha prayers, 108 incantations, 21 kinds of leaves prayers, Khrob Sian Khru and much more.
Following religious ceremonies, Lord Ganesh’s statue will be released into the sea behind Wat Chonglom in Naklua. This ritual immersion of Ganesha images made of plaster of Plaster of Paris into the sea symbolizes 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 festival – the third year it has been held in Thailand – will be the country’s largest celebration of its kind. Past activities include fireworks, liturgy prayer ceremony, Ganesh head-covering ceremony, fire worship and exhibition of more than 2,000 Ganesha figurines.
Based on past years, the event should be 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 Chaiwat Daechonthee, president of Lord Ganesh Club, at 058-8172286 – 089-1458100.