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Thaipoosam Cavadee Is Dedicated To God Muruga When His Star, “Poosam” Appears In The Sky

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The Tamil community today celebrates one of the most important festivals in its calendar, namely the Thaipoosam Cavadee, which is mainly celebrated by those whose ancestors came specifically from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is a festival held to honour and worship the Hindu god, Muruga.

Celebrated every year at full moon during the “Thai” month, Thaipoosam Cavadee is dedicated to god Muruga when his star, “Poosam” appears in the sky. The Idumban legend says that the act of devotion of Cavadee is the symbolic act of one who carried the tops of two mountains hanging on a stick on his shoulders and on his way, met the god Muruga, who, after some events, gave him his blessing. At the end of the tenth day of fasting, the Mauritian Tamils celebrate the Thaipoosam Cavadee in a spirit of fervor and sacrifice.

The legend behind the festival tells of Murugan and the disciple of the sage Agastya, Idumban, as the main characters. Idumban was asked by Sage Agastya to place two hills, named after Shiva and Shakti, or Parvathi, and place them in South India.  Idumban ‘fastened’ the hills to opposite ends of a stick, or ‘Cavadee’ and then set off to fulfil his task. He was marching to the designated location when he felt tired and put down his load. Murugan, who was hiding nearby, saw what has happened and made the hills too heavy for Idumban to lift them up again. When Idumban realized he could no longer carry the ‘Cavadee,’ he saw Murugan and a fight broke out between them.

Murugan, son of Shiva and Shakti, insisted that the hills were his, angering Idumban, who was on a divine mission. Murugan killed Idumban with his trusted spear, or ‘vel’, a gift from his mother. He later revived Idumban, who went on to become his greatest disciple.

Harry Vydelingum, Secretary of Hindu Maha Jana Sangham tells us more about this celebration:

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