Thaipoosam Cavadee in Mauritius
Thaipoosam Cavadee is a public holiday that’s observed on the full moon in the 10th month of the Tamil calendar—which places it somewhere between January and February each year on the Gregorian calendar. This is a holiday that’s observed in Mauritius—an African country that has a large Hindu population.
Over half of this country’s population are Hindu, so this holiday is one of the most popular ones in the entire country. Ten days before the day of this holiday, many followers will prepare for it with a period of fasting and ends with a festival held on the holiday.
The History Of Thaipoosam Cavadee In Mauritius
According to tradition, Thaipusam is said to have been created during a battle between the Soorapadman and the Devas. The Devas were unable to beat them, so they approached Shiva and asked for him to give them a mighty hero that could defeat their foe.
Shiva granted their request by creating Skanda—a mighty hero that would allow them to defeat their enemy. To commemorate this fact, the Thaipusam Festival was created.
The act of devotion of the Cavadee has a special origin according to legend. A reformed bandit name Idumban was asked to prove that he was indeed reformed. To prove his sincerity, he carried two mountain summits attached to a stick to his guru. While he was on route, Muruga met up with him and decided to give him a test.
Muruga disguised himself as a small boy and sat down on one of the mountain peaks to weigh it down. Although the weight was almost unbearable, Idumban didn’t give up his penance and carried on with his journey. Pleased with his devotion, Muruga would bless him. That is why devotees now carry the Cavadee on their shoulders to secure the divine grace of Muruga.
Observing Thaipoosam Cavadee In Mauritius
Ten days before the start of this holiday, and up until the day of the festival, devotees will prepare themselves by fasting and by offering prayers at local temples. People will then head to a local river for a ritualistic cleansing ritual. Also performed are sacred piercings as a sign of penance.