BAPS Belgium assisted in celebrating the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi as a three-day ‘Ganesh Festival’ in the city of Antwerp in collaboration with the local council and several local organisations. This was the second time this festival had been arranged and this year, over 2,500 people enjoyed the festivities from Friday 12 September to Sunday 14 September.
Balaks-balikas, kishores-kishoris and yuvaks-yuvatis from the UK joined the local mandal amid support from other organisations to help the local council arrange the various stage programmes which included kirtan-bhakti, folk dances and speeches. There were also stalls for BAPS Children’s Activities, a souvenir shop, mehndhi designs, and traditional Indian vegetarian food.
The highlight of the festival was a colourful street procession escorting the murti of Ganeshji to its ritual immersion in the local river.
Visitors also had the opportunity of visiting the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in central Antwerp for darshan.
Members of the local Indian community and other Antverpians alike were enthralled by the wonderfully traditional event. Local Council members also came out to show their support and the local Belgian media provided a great deal of coverage.