Thaipoosam Cavadee of Mauritius: Jan 31
Thaipoosam Cavadee is a public holiday in Mauritius.
As a devotion to their Lord Muruga, the people of Mauritius have a yearly celebration called Thaipoosam Cavadee. It is also in this day that the Tamil people show deep thanks and appreciation for having a prosperous year and ask for a boundless blessing.
History of Thaipoosam Cavadee
The Cavadee celebration originated from an outlaw follower of Agattiyar. His name was Idumban which literally means “arrogant”. One day, Idumban was given an order by the guru. He was asked to bring back two summits attached at the ends of a cavadee. A cavadee is, in general a stick used in transporting loads. Idumban faithfully followed the request and on his way back, he was challenged by Lord Muruga which was disguised as a young child. Unaware that he was facing the God, he battled with Lord Muruga and unfortunately, he was pierced and got killed.
Since then, guru Agattiyar and his followers started a prayer ritual for Idumban that he may be resurrected. A rich tradition that, until now is being observed by the people in honor of their hero, Idumban.
Thaipoosam Cavadee Traditions, Customs and Activities
Today, the Tamils of Mauritius commemorate the heroism of Idumban by carrying the Cavadee until they reach the temple. This involves abstinence, prayers and cleansing of the heart and soul and letting out the negative aura of hate, egotism and jealousy. It is believed that wishes will be granted soon after doing the ritual.
Apart from the carrying of Cavadee, the people gather in the streets and parade in flower floats, all carrying their harvests like milk and wooden arches. As devotion, they also pierce their tongues and cheeks to signify gratitude and respect to their God. Those who chose not to pierce their tongue should tie their tongue with a scarf and must remain quiet throughout the ceremony.
The Thaipoosam Cavadee is a manifestation of how strong and faithful the Tamils of Mauritius are. That in every sufferings and defeat, there will always be a reward as long as you live in faith and courage.