We had to wake up at 5 in the morning to get to the beach at sunrise. I took my 300 mm lens so as not to intrude on the devotees worship. The previous day we scouted the beaches and asked the Hindu priest if taking photos are allowed. He gave us permission. When we got to the beach at Ile aux Cerfs the first devotees were already making their afferings to Ganges. Read the article in bold further down about this festival. It is for the forgiveness of sins.
This was one of the photos with good reflections. I worked on a course 300 gram Fabriano paper. This allowed me to get the textures of the background so well. I loved the way that the sun caught the material and the luminescence of the dresses with the backlit sun. The ladies were all colorfully dressed in their saris but the men had on jeand and T shirst.
This is painted on a full sheet measuring 100 x 71 cm. It is a large sheet of paper that takes a lot of paint to cover. I am especially pleased with the rendering of the flesh colors and the dresses. I believe that this painting will become an important painting of all the paintings I have done. Buy it now while it is still available.
It is unframed. Two of the edges are rough edges that looks well when framed in floating glass.
Worship of the Ganges was and is still practiced by the Hindus in Mauritius. On the day of Ganga Snaan ‘pujas’ (prayer services) are performed in her honor by the sea-side and at Ganga Talaab. The Hindu agricultural worker brought with him the image of Ganga, as a flowing stream purifying and fertilizing the land.
However, a particularly Hindu association with the river is the imagery of crossing from the world of common mortals — the world of ignorance —to the world of enlightenment. Rivers metaphorically represent a state of transition for the soul. Ganga, hence, is also worshipped as a great purifier. By taking a dip in her waters the pilgrim symbolically drowns his old self and is born anew, fresh and enlightened.
The river Goddess Ganga does not visibly flow in Mauritius. Yet just as no one on earth knows the exact place where the Ganga river begins, in the same way, no one can say exactly where the Canga ends. Materially the end of the Ganga is under the sea. This could be one of the reasons why the Hindu devotees of Mauritius have invested the sea, as the carrier of the holy Ganga, with her attributes as a divine purifier and the bestower of life and salvation.
Ganga Snaan is celebrated in the month of November. Devotees get up and take a bath at home before proceeding to the sea-side. This is to clean the body before offering it to Ganga which further purifies it.
First they worship the sea, which is the carrier of Ganga. Then they bathe in the sea. Immediately after the bath, and while the sun is rising on the eastern horizon, the devotees make their offerings to the sea and worship Mother Ganga. The offerings usually consist of flowers, fruits, flour, grains and milk. These are offered to Goddess Canga. Camphor and sandalwood are burnt on betel leaves and these are made to float on the sea-water. It is a beautiful and touching scene. Hundreds of little lamps burning on the water float and swirl happily before being swept away one by one.
We retain thte right to make further prints from this original artwork and market such on this website at tradeshows and exhibitions.