Sonntag, 31. Januar 2010

Another Full Moon - Another Festival: Thaipusam Cavadee in Mauritius

It has to be full moon and it is celebrated usually in January or February, this year it was yesterday on 30 January that Mauritius celebrated the festival of Thaipusam Cavadee. This colourful celebration is also done in other countries such as southern parts of India, Malaysia, Singapore and Reunion Island. Across the world, the festival of Thaipusam Cavadee is usually part of the of the Tamil culture but in Mauritius it has become a festival for all citizens of the overall Hindu community. Thaipusam Cavadee is also called Thaipooyam Cavadee and is dedicated to the birthday of the Hindu deity Muruga. According to Hindu mythology, Muruga is the youngest son of the Trinity Lord Shiva. He is mostly recognized as carrying the spear also called Vel.As Rodrigues has got only a tiny Hindu community, nearly 98 % of our population is Catholic, it was not celebrated here, at least not publicly visible as in Mauritius. Although a public holiday also here, it went more or less ignored, business as usual, even the Saturday market was open, only bigger companies and the public sector did not work.After a period of 10 days fasting on Cavadee day people will carry the Cavadee, which means burden, carrying something heavy but beautifully decorated and containing photos of Muruga acts as a sacrifice.Women can be seen carrying milk which is supposed not to get sour.
Devotees also pierce their skin and tongue with neutralized needles.People across the country will throw water on the burning hot roads of Mauritius to help those walking bare foot with their cavadee.

-Source & photo credits: Island Crisis(photo 2 & 3, plus a lot more photos of yesterday & video) & Fabrice Bettex (1,5/on Mysterra)

-More photos of 2010 also on L'Express by Fabian Dubessay (4,6)

-Please find an interesting and descriptive photo essay about Cavadee 2009 witnessed by Nathalia Presztolanszky, the photos are really awesome!

-Thaipusam Cavadee bei wikipedia/dt.

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