This morning while cycling alone at East Coast Park, I saw an unusual sight on the beach. No, I didn't see a beached whale, a dugong or even a girl bathing on the beach.
First, I saw a discarded sandal near the beach:
Then some worship items:
And a large crowd:
"Oh no! Not another drowning incident!", I thought to myself and feared the worst.
But wait a minute. I heard some drum beats when I got nearer. They were happy and lively beats:
I looked towards the sea and saw this scene:
When I finally realised what was happening, I heaved a sigh of relief. It was actually an immersion ceremony for the statue of Lord Ganesha. It was part of the Hindu celebrations for the Ganesh Festival (also called Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayaka Chaturthi).
At the end of the ceremony, the priest handed each devotee some whitish flour-like substance. I guess it was meant as a blessing.
I spoke to one of the devotees. He told me that this was the first time that such a ceremony was held in Singapore. After hearing that, I felt so fortunate to have witnessed the event.
This must have been the lorry that transported the Lord Ganesha statue and some of the devotees:
An event banner displayed nearby:
Too bad, I don't understand a word on the banner. Maybe Shilpa can help me out? Also, does anyone know what was the white stuff which the priest handed out at the end of the ceremony? Was it a mixture of flour and grated coconut?
Just in case you think that I am totally ignorant of Indian culture, here's a quiz question for you - what is the bow-like thing carried by the man in the photo of drummers?