Come join the celebration as It’s Lord Ganesha’s birthday! Mauritius being a hub of cultural mélange, one would not exclude this auspicious Hindu festival. Most of them are familiar with Ganesha’s story, but for some of you who aren’t, here is how it goes: Hindus celebrate the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi or Vinayak Chaturthi, as a day on which lord Ganesha, the younger son of Lord Shiva and Parvati was born. The birthday of lord Ganesha is celebrated on the fourth day of the lunar month of August/September. Lord Ganesha is symbolized as the god of wisdom and the god who removes all the obstacles in path of its followers and thus he is also called “Vignaharta” meaning ‘remover of obstacles’.
You might also wonder as to why does Ganesh have an Elephant’s head? As usual, legends abound. It all began when Parvati, who is the consort of Lord Shiva, was having a bath. She rubbed some dust and oil from her body and created the shape of a boy and infused life into the shape and that is how Ganesha was born. Parvati told her son to guard the door when she was bathing. Lord Shiva came to visit and Ganesh would not let him in. How was Ganesh supposed to know Shiva was his father? So he fought with Shiva and Ganesha’s head was severed in the ensuing scuffle. As you can imagine Goddess Parvati was very upset. She asked Lord Shiva to bring her son back to life. Shiva sent his men to look for a head replacement for Ganesh. The brief was to bring the head of the first living creature they find facing North which is a direction associated with wisdom and the rest is history! But why would Shiva put an Elephant head on his Son? The elephant head symbolizes wisdom and knowledge. An elephant does not bypass obstacles, it removes them and walks ahead. Devotees believe that worshipping Ganesh will bring these qualities to them and remove their difficulties so they can achieve their goals. His big ears means Ganesh listens to the prayers of his devotees.
During the festival you will witness processions of devotees happily dancing and chanting on the roads, everyone around carrying colorful figurines of Lord Ganesh on small platforms with great enthusiasm. The sound of drums, cymbals and bells will undoubtedly put you in a trance! Such is the enthusiasm of this festival and not only that, it is scientifically stated that the vibrations of the chants used during Ganesh Festival, literally cleanse the mental tensions and other negativity in the body, which is why some people are lost into the musical orchestra formed by the drum beats and other instruments!
If you would like to be a part of the ceremony, you can visit the Tookay Temple in Savanne District or Grand Bassin ( Ganga Talao ) during Immersion day of the Idols! This year, the festival falls on the 25th of August, 2017.
Ganpati Bappa, Moryaa!!!
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