On India’s west coast, revelers hoist up statues of an elephant-headed god, and parade them toward the Arabian Sea. They sing and chant, and hand out food to bystanders.
For 10 days, they perform pooja — Hindu prayers — at the statues’ feet and then submerge them in bodies of water.
This is a tradition in Mumbai, India’s biggest city, near the end of each year’s monsoon rains: a festival honoring Ganesh, or Lord Ganesha, the Hindu god of wisdom and good luck. He has a human body and an elephant head.