The Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated on Friday 10th September and Saturday 11th September. One of the most special celebrations of the Hindu calendar, ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ also known as ‘Vinayaka Chaturthui’ or Vinayaka Chaviti ’is celebrated every year by the Hindu community in Mauritius as in other countries around the world.
Recognizable by his elephant head, the son of Shiva and Parvati is, by far, the most adored divinity. Known as the one who removes obstacles, he is also the god of wisdom, intelligence, education and prudence, the patron of schools and knowledge workers.
On the sidelines of this celebration, the devotees purify themselves by fasting: “There is a 15-day fast to be observed. However, the last 4 days of fasting before Ganesh Chaturthi are the most important. Why ? Because they allow us to free us from our bad behavior. Prayers will be said during this time” explains Acharya Sooklall (MSK).
The celebrations begin with the “Murti Stapna”, the installation of an idol of the god Ganesh made of clay. Following the Murti Stapna, prayers and songs dedicated to the deity are said throughout the night accompanied by the traditional dance, known as “Jakri”. For the occasion, the divinity’s favorite cakes will also be offered to him as offerings to be later distributed among the devotees: “The god Ganesh is fond of several sweets such as ‘modak’ and ‘laddoo’ among others. Devotees will make sure to please him by offering the sweets to the god, ”said Pandit Sooklall.
Thereafter, the idol will be carried on the shoulders of the devotees to be directed to different streams, rivers and beaches in procession for the ‘visarjan’ immersion ceremony while saying praises to the god Ganesh; “Ganpati Bappa Morya… Mangal Murti Morya… Pudhchya Varshi lavkar ya…” meaning “Glory to you Ganpati, come back next year…”
Ganesh Chaturthi is also an opportunity to get rid of everything that hinders our progress. “As tradition dictates, the idols of Ganesh are immersed in water. These symbolize the obstacles that are part of everyday life. By submerging them, we free ourselves to move forward. In addition, with Covid-19, this is a good opportunity to turn to Ganesh for his blessing to get us out of this pandemic. ”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mauritius Marathi Mandali Federation appeals to all devotees to respect the health measures put in place such as social distancing, wearing a mask. In addition, the number of 50 people in worship place and immersion should be respected.