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Ganesh Chaturthi 2023 à Maurice : une vibrante célébration de la foi et de la culture

Ganesh Chaturthi 2023 à Maurice

One of the most eagerly awaited and joyously celebrated festivals in Mauritius is Ganesh Chaturthi, starting this year on the 20th of September 2023. This auspicious occasion, dedicated to Lord Ganesha, the remover of obstacles and the god of wisdom, has a special place in the hearts of Mauritians, irrespective of their religious beliefs. As we delve into the festivities of Ganesh Chaturthi 2023 in Mauritius, we will explore the rich traditions, colourful processions, and fervent spirit that make this festival a unique experience, and what you should know as a foreigner to take part to the festivities. 

Image de u_ex7iq3mtmt sur Pixabay 

Experience Ganesh Chaturthi in Mauritius this September 2023!

What is Ganesh Chaturthi?

Ganesh Chaturthi, also known as Vinayaka Chaturthi, is a Hindu festival that celebrates the birth of Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is the elephant god. It typically falls in the Hindu month of Bhadra (August-September) and lasts for ten days, with the culmination marked by the immersion of Ganesha idols in bodies of water, symbolizing his return to his celestial abode. The festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm in India and among the Indian diaspora around the world, including Mauritius.  

Preparations and Decorations

The preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi in Mauritius actually begins weeks in advance. Families and communities come together to create intricate and colorful Ganesha idols made of clay or eco-friendly materials. These idols vary in size, from small ones placed in homes to grand installations in public places. Homes and temples are also adorned with vibrant decorations, including flowers, lights, and colorful rangoli patterns. 

A Pious Atmosphere

Many people in Mauritius open the doors of their homes to friends and family during the 10 days of the festival. Visitors will come and offer prayers and perform Aarti (rituals involving lighted lamps and offering of sweets, fruits, flowers and money to Ganesh to seek Lord Ganesha’s blessings).  If you are invited in a Mauritian house for Aarti, don’t forget to bring your offering to the God. The community usually cook together delicious vegetarian food to eat after the prayers. The pious atmosphere is filled with the sweet fragrance of incense, the melodious sounds of bhajans (devotional songs) and the smell of various delicacies, including traditional sweets like ‘modak’ and ‘kanawla.’ 

Ganesh Chaturthi 2023 à Maurice
Aarti. Image by Suket Dedhia sur Pixabay

Immersion of Ganesha Idols

One of the highlights of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mauritius is the grand processions that take place and the immersion of the idol in the sea. Elaborated floats adorned with flowers, lights, and the presiding Ganesha idol are paraded through the streets. The idols are carried in a grand procession to the water’s edge, accompanied by music and dance.  These processions are a visual treat, with participants dressed in traditional attire, dancing to the beat of drums and music, and expressing their devotion with unmatched fervor.  The idols are then immersed in the water, symbolizing the belief in Lord Ganesha’s return to his heavenly abode. 

When and where does the festival take place in Mauritius this year? 

The festival lasts for ten days. The biggest day of the festival is the first day, i.e the 20th of September 2023.  On that day, you’ll be able to experience the festival in every town and streets in Mauritius and attend the processions and the immersion of Ganesha idols at rivers and most public beaches. Usually Mauritians go to the rivers and sea which are the closest to where they live or where their family originates. Int he west, there are some places that are particularly popular to attend the immersion of the idols : Beau Songes, near Palma Road is one of the more popular place (expect big crowd), and Flic en Flac is another one. 

Photo par Billeasy sur Unsplash
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