Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and Pattaya Ganesha Lovers Club President Chaiwat Detnathee led the faithful at a fire sacrifice and prayer ceremony Aug. 28 as part of the Ganesha Chaturthi celebration.
Followers of the Hindu and Buddhist god Ganesha prepare to lower a statue of the “god of success” into the sea at Bali Hai Pier.
The centerpiece of the event was the ritual immersion of a 2.39-meter-tall Ganesha figure 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.
Devotees joined in, bathing the figure in curcuma, coconut and nectar, and covering head of priests as per ancient tradition. They prayed for sadness and disease to be lifted and wrote the names of relatives on the statue to eradicate evil from their lives and bring prosperity.
The Aug. 15-30 festival – the sixth year it has been held in Thailand – is the country’s largest celebration of its kind. The festival included a parade through Pattaya to display Ganesha’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.