The Thaipoosam Cavadee is one of the most spectacular religious festivals in Mauritius. In 2019, the Tamil celebration will held on 21st of January to show gratitude and affection to the Tamil goddess Parvati and god Muruga who conquered the evil demon Soorapadman.
Ten days prior to the festival, the symbolic flag is hoist up in front of the temple, indicating the start of fasting, prayers, and abstinence among the most religious Tamil to purify their soul and heart. To show the ultimate devotion Tamil pierce their bodies with the needles and spears in symmetrical patterns.
Devotees wear fuchsia or saffron colored clothing. Their body above the waist is smeared with holy ash. They walk barefoot towards a nearby river or the sea where they have a sacred bath. The hot-tarred road is sprinkled with water to ease their suffering.
There are prayers, offerings and rituals. Male worshippers have their head shaved. Their back, chest, cheeks and tongue are pierced with hooks, skewers and small lances called ‘vel’. This tradition symbolizes Lord Muruga's spear.
Women and children carry a pot of sacred milk on their head. Others and a few children have their cheeks and tongue pierced or a pink scarf tied around their face to prevent speaking. All this amidst much chanting and drumming.
Believers walk to the nearest Kovil, which is a temple with a Dravidian architecture. There they pray, make their offerings to Lord Muruga and have the piercings removed from their body.
The Mauritius Thaipoosam Cavadee takes place in most parts of the island. You can join the parade anywhere anytime and experience our culture and colorful spectacle.
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