Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Sunday, 14 September 2008 17:04 UK

River marks religious ceremony

Pilgrims gather at the water's edge
Pilgrims threw flowers, coins and pictures into the water

Hundreds of Hindus have gathered on the banks of the River Mersey for a special religious ceremony.

The river is worshipped by British Hindus as the Holy River Ganges. Many boarded the Royal Daffodil ferry for the ceremony of immersion.

This sees clay figures representing the Hindu Lord Ganesh, the elephant deity riding a mouse, submerged in the river from a ferry boat.

Followers also threw flowers, pictures and coins into the river.

A similar ceremony was held last year attended by around 300 pilgrims, but hundreds more attended this year.

Ganesh is one of the most revered idols in India, and one of the most popular because he crosses all religious divides and sects.

He is described as the most colourful of the Gods, being the symbol of prosperity and the remover of obstacles.

Simultaneous ceremonies, involving millions of Hindus, have been taking place across India and the rest of the world.

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