Though, in India it is not celebrated like the national festival Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi the rebirth of the ‘vighnahartha’ (destructor of obstacles), is celebrated in a grand way for ten days in the western and south western region of the country. The popular belief is that Lord Ganesha was reborn on the auspicious day of sukla chaturdashi, also known as Ganesh Chaturthi.
Non-resident Hindus residing in the foreign countries celebrate this festival at their place of residence in a traditional manner. In France, it is celebrated in Paris, Genoa and Nice. People, especially those who belong to Maharashtra, prefer to worship Ganesha at home, affectionately calling him as Ganapati Bappa.
Even if you are not interested in worshipping Ganesh at home, you can participate in the big celebrations in the Sri Manikar Vinayakar Alayam temple of Paris. The grand celebration at the temple lasts for ten days, which keeps up the traditions and rituals of the festival. On the concluding day, the idol of Ganesh is placed on a beautiful chariot, decorated with flowers and garlands, and the chariot is driven through the street of Paris.
Many people belonging to Hindus as well as the local non-Hindu Parisians, wearing traditional dress, participate in the procession, pulling the chariot by hand.
In France, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are like a confluence of people belonging to different faith and religion coming together to celebrate the glory of the birth of Lord Ganesha.