Thaipoosam Cavadee in Mauritius 2020

The cultural and religious roots of people from Tamil Nadu or Kerala in India only grows stronger when abroad and the Thaipoosam Cavadee or Thaipooyam festival in Mauritius proves it perfectly. The festival is dedicated to the Hindu deity of war, Lord Muruga and Goddess Parvathi who defeated the demon Soorapadman. The name comprising of two words Thai and Poosam has distinct meanings i.e. third month (January-February) and the highest star respectively and as for Cavadee, it suggests carrying a piece of wood. 

Thaipoosam Cavadee in Mauritius 2020

It takes place in Thai (tenth) month of Tamil calendar i.e. in between January and February of the Gregorian calendar. 
Thaipoosam Cavadee will take place on 8th February in 2020. 

The Cavadee And Its Significance 

Thaipoosam Cavadee in Mauritius
Source

The Cavadee is like a burden of devotion to Muruga and is made of arched bamboo stalk strengthened by rods and adorned with colorful flowers, sandalwood paste, peacock feathers, lime, coconut leaves, brass bells and other accessories with covered vessels hanging from each corner containing milk, sugar, rice, sandal, banana etc. From 10 days of fasting to the day of Thaipoosam Cavadee, the cavadee bearer has to observe a few rules like –

  • Take a bath in the river or the sea before getting dressed with saffron-coloured Pandaara Bhakta, conical scarlet cap and hold a silver-capped cane. 
  • Live on alms and taking only one ‘satvik’ meal per day. 
  • Observing silence, celibacy and abstaining from any intoxication. 
  • Smearing vibhuti (sacred ash) on temple and body and wear a rudraksha mala
  • No shaving
Cavadee-bearing devotees pray, think of the lord and often observe 48-days fast before the festival. On Thaipoosam Cavadee, they shave heads and often pierce their cheeks, arms, tongue and other parts of the skin with spears or skewers. Many devotees also stick hooks in the back which are pulled by another devotee walking behind.     
  • Kodi Etram –Purification Period 
10 days before Thaipoosam Cavadee, the purification period of Kodi Etram takes place with the grand hoisting of the flag (kodi) with devotional music and incantation for cleansing of the soul at the kovils. The flag features the spear or “vel” that Muruga used to kill Idumban and a cock or peacock. The flag hoisting symbolizes the commencement of the celebration and is drawn down after the conclusion of the festival.
  • Spiritual Enlightenment 
Prayer, atonement and fasting are observed by the devotees who would bear cavadees and also their families who eat vegetarian meals. As a purgation of materialistic desire, lust and passion, verses from Hindu religious scriptures are read out at kovils and homes. A saffron or fuschia string is tied around the cavadee-holders as a bracelet. People offer fruits, saffron water, sandalwood, rose water and milk to the idols while burning camphor.
  • Body Piercing 
During this period, Goddess Parvathi is revered for purification and as ultimate devotion many male devotees pierce their abdomen, chest, back, legs or arms with spears and needles in symmetrical way while many devotees including female members of families get their tongue, lips and cheeks pierced. 
  • Preparation Of Cavadees
Within these ten days, cavadees are prepared with the help from family, neighbours and friends in utmost excitement. Some are small-sized with moderate decoration while others tend to be as long as 3 meters with bright clothes, bells, flowers and small idols of Lord Muruga.     

The Day Of The Cavadee Festival 

Thaipoosam Cavadee in Mauritius 2020
Source

Come the day of Cavadee festival, local people and tourists gather on the roadside or take part in the procession with the devotees in saffron and fuchsia clothes who follow the officiating Hindu priest. From the kovil, a chariot with bronze Muruga statue is pulled, thereby marking the commencement of the Cavadee. 
  • The Procession
Men are often bare-chested with ashes smeared above the waist or have piercings and wear a loincloth. With harmonious chanting of mantras and prayers, cavadee bearers pull the smaller cavadees on their head while the larger ones are pulled by those with piercing hooks connected to strings on their backs. Often you will find some people with hooks on their backs carrying limes and many children and women carry scared milk in brass pots in case of carrying cavadees. Those without any piercing, tie a piece of cloth around the mouth as their vow of devotion and meditation in silence. 

What is surprising is how none screams or winces in pain, but stay completely stoic and composed being concentrated to the thoughts of God and penance. Some devotees have chains bound to the hooks to pull wheeled altars while others have chains bound to the needles pierced on the mouth.    
  • Kavadi Attam
Thaipoosam Cavadee
Source

Throughout the way to the sea or a river, the devotees engage in gyrating dance ritual known as Kavadi Attam with the rhythmical Tamil trance music. On their way to the sacred bath, devotees remain barefoot and holy water is sprinkled on the hot tarred path to prevent any blisters from forming. On reaching the waterbody, incense sticks, milk, rosewater, fruits, clarified butter etc are offered to sacrificial fire signifying sanctification of cavadees and self-purification. 
  • Removal Of Vels And Taking Prasadam
On returning to the kovils, offerings are given to the deities and vels are removed from the body. Devotees then break their vow of silence and fast by taking sanctified vegetarian prasadam served on banana leaves. The vegetarian dish of Arusuvai is worth mentioning because of its mixed flavour of sweet, bitter, salty and sour that represent how different emotions when intertwined, can bring harmony to life. 

For a non-devotee or a tourist, the entire festival with rigorous rituals might seem unjustified or unnecessary but the devotees would love to contradict as they do not see any of the act as suffering but a real reverential act to appease the God.     

From the start of Kodi Etram to the day of Thaipoosam Cavadee, all the Hindu kovils or temples of Mauritius are filled with devotees offering the deities and singing hymns while the tourists flock to the experience of the strangest yet enchanting festivals. 

Origin Of Thaipoosam 

Thaipoosam Cavadee in Mauritius 2020
Source

According to Skanda Purana, the festival was originated during the battle of the asuras under Soorapadman’s leadership and the Gods, in which the latter were being defeated numerous times. Distraught, they sought help from Shiva and Parvathi to give them a leader who could be victorious against the demons. With his mighty power, Shiva created Skanda who defeated the demons and that victorious day is Thaipoosam. Muruga signifies the wisdom and light of Lord Shiva and he is hence, revered to vanquish evil forces and bad traits.   

History Of Thaipoosam Cavadee  

Apart from the rigorous sword-climbing, body-piercing and fire-walking rituals, one of the most important rituals of Thaipoosam Cavadee is carrying the wooden (plastic and metal are also used now) arc or cavadee. The ritual has a Tamil mythological history regarding an outlaw and reformed bandit named Idumban (meaning arrogant) who was instructed by the guru Agattiyar to carry two mountain summits –Satigiri and Shivagiri on Kailash on the cavadee. 

While Idumban was returning with the peaks tied to the yoke, at the Pazhani Malai, he halted to rest for a while and Lord Muruga hid inside one peak making it heavier. But he kept on walking with sheer perseverance. Finally, discovering him, Idumban struck him without realizing who he was and in retaliation, Lord Muruga killed him with his spear. On hearing this, Agattiyar along with his followers sought help from Muruga to resurrect Idumban and he was made alive again. From then onwards, devotees carry their cavadee filled with flowers and milk vessels to kovils (temples) in Mauritius in order to have their wishes fulfilled.  

Thaipoosam Cavadee in Mauritius
Source

At the end of the festival, one can see women and children in bright clothes, men in loin sporting their piercings and getting them removed. People taking purifying baths and carrying cavadees while dancing to devotional music has become the talk of the islands on Mauritius, which otherwise remain a romantic honeymoon getaway throughout the year.

This post was published by Holidify.com

Share this post on social media
Google +

Related Articles

Experiences

Music Festivals in Thailand for an Experience of a Lifetime

Fairs & Festivals

Kite Festivals in India - The Fight Of Colourful Kites Flying Through The Sky

Fairs & Festivals

International Kite Festival in Ahmedabad - Prepare for a Week of Colourful Skies!

Fairs & Festivals

Bali Spirit Festival - 7 Reasons You MUST Visit This Unique Gathering | 2020 Dates

Art & Culture

The Amazing Highlights Of Bikaner Camel Festival

Fairs & Festivals

Surajkund Mela - The World's Largest International Crafts Fair!

Art & Culture

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2020 - 1st - 9th February, Venue, Events

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals of India - 37 Festivals and Events in India To Plan Your Trip Around

Fairs & Festivals

SulaFest 2020 - Music, Fine Dine, Wine & Everything Oh-So-Fine

Fairs & Festivals

Sunburn is Back in Goa And Here’s How You Can Make Your Trip an Epic one

Fairs & Festivals

Religion in Malaysia - Festivities, Faiths & Facts

Fairs & Festivals

Dubai Shopping Festival 2020 - Guide to Celebrating DSF The Right Way

Experiences

Explore Vibrant Sri Lanka with These Festivals

Art & Culture

Onam 2020 - An Essential Guide to the Festival of Kerala

Fairs & Festivals

Ziro Music Festival - A Musical Extravaganza

Beaches & Islands

Sunburn Comes Home For 2019 in Goa

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals in Malaysia – A Colourful Celebration

Fairs & Festivals

Jaipur Literature Festival 2020 To Host Top Literary Personalities

Fairs & Festivals

Mysore Dasara 2020: A Guide To The Most-Awaited Festival of Mysore

Art & Culture

Kumaoni Holi 2020 - The Colourful Festival of Uttarakhand

Fairs & Festivals

Bali in February - Weather, Festivals, Attractions & Travel Tips

Fairs & Festivals

International Kite Festival Jaipur 2020

Fairs & Festivals

Diwali in Dubai - Witness the Emirati Festival of Lights!

Fairs & Festivals

Pongal - The Festival of South India

Fairs & Festivals

Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai – The Most Awaited Festival of Mumbaikars

Fairs & Festivals

Ganesh Chaturthi 2020 - An Essential Guide to the Celebrations of Lord Ganesha’s birthday

Fairs & Festivals

Diwali in Nepal - Celebration of the Gods, Mother Nature and Oneself

Fairs & Festivals

Udaipur Lantern Festival - The Eccentric Diwali Festivity!

Fairs & Festivals

Songkran Festival 2020 - Thailand's New Year Water Festival

Fairs & Festivals

Bastille Day in Pondicherry (Puducherry)

Fairs & Festivals

Christmas in Nepal - Why You Should Visit Nepal During Christmas

Fairs & Festivals

Ramadan in Dubai - Is It a Good Idea to Visit Dubai During Ramadan?

Fairs & Festivals

Asalha Puja 2020 - Celebrating the Teachings of the Enlightened

Fairs & Festivals

Kumbh Mela 2021: The First Timers Guide To Kumbh Mela

Fairs & Festivals

Uttarakhand Brings You Asia's Largest Lake Festival: Tehri Lake Festival 2020

Fairs & Festivals

Cultural & Religious Festivals in India & the Celebrations

Fairs & Festivals

Losar Festival - Here is What You Need To Know About The Tibetan New Year!

Fairs & Festivals

Dubai Tennis Championships - 2020 Dates, Venue, Schedule

Fairs & Festivals

Tet Nguyen Dan 2020 : All About Vietnamese New Year!

Fairs & Festivals

Ubud Food Festival 2020 - A Food Lover's Delight

Fairs & Festivals

Nusa Dua Light Festival - Biggest Lantern Festival of Bali

Fairs & Festivals

Ubon Ratchathani Candle Festival - Thailand's Most Popular Traditional Candle Parade

Fairs & Festivals

Surin Elephant Festival - Thailand's Elephant Round Up

Fairs & Festivals

Wing Kwai - Thailand's Most Awaited Annual Buffalo Racing Festival

Fairs & Festivals

Bali Kite Festival : Indonesian Sky Celebrates its True Colours in Style!

Fairs & Festivals

Hue Festival – A Biennial Cultural Celebration in Vietnam

Fairs & Festivals

Navratri 2020 - All About the Nine-Day Festival Of Goddess Durga

Fairs & Festivals

Fairs and Festivals of India

Fairs & Festivals

Carnivals In India You Don’t Want To Miss Out In 2020

Fairs & Festivals

Nuakhai - Festival of Odisha

Fairs & Festivals

Perfume Pagoda Festival – Witness The Celebrations at This Famous Pilgrim Site of Vietnam

Art & Culture

9 Different New Years in India: Celebration of Culture and Harvest!

Fairs & Festivals

Best Parties to Revel In For the New Year Celebrations!

Experiences

Thailand in December - Weather, Best Places, Events & Festivals

Fairs & Festivals

What Are Your Plans For The Manali Winter Carnival?

Experiences

Bring on the Christmas Feels at Santa Claus Village

Fairs & Festivals

Christmas Photos 2019 - A Mandatory Festive Dose!

Fairs & Festivals

Uttarakhand Food Festival To Be Held This Week – What Are Your plans?

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Singapore - 20 Places in Singapore to Ring in 2020 in Style

Art & Culture

Channapatna Toys - The Story of Karnataka's Most Famous Wooden Artefacts

Experiences

Best Christmas Markets In The World To Ring Your Festivities This Season!

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals in Kolkata That You Must Experience!

Fairs & Festivals

Eight Best Christmas Market To Deck The Halls!

Fairs & Festivals

New Year 2020 - Best Places To Celebrate New Year in India

Experiences

End 2019 With A Bang! Attend Goa's Sunburn Festival And Live The Music 

Art & Culture

Sharjah Biennial 2020 - Your Guide to Sharjah Bustling Art Festival

Fairs & Festivals

Mumbai's The Lil Flea is The Best Way To Kick- Off Early Christmas Celebrations!

Fairs & Festivals

Celebrating Christmas in Sri Lanka 2019: Things to do on your Christmas getaway

Fairs & Festivals

Dubai Desert Classic - A Guide to Dubai's Top Golfing Tournament

Fairs & Festivals

The Ideal Itinerary To Seize The Rann Utsav In 4 Days!

Fairs & Festivals

23 Festivals of Uttarakhand - India's Devbhoomi

Experiences

Music Festivals In India That Every Music Enthusiast Must Attend!

Fairs & Festivals

Taste of Dubai - Tickets, Dates For This Fun Food Event

Fairs & Festivals

Thailand in January - Weather, Best Places, Events and Festivals

Art & Culture

Dubai Design Week - Spend a Week of Creativity atThis Festival

Experiences

Galungan - Bali's Most Important Festival | 2020 Dates & Festivites

Art & Culture

Festivals of Goa

Fairs & Festivals

Hola Mohalla - Sikh Festival of Brotherhood and Bravery

Fairs & Festivals

Hoi An Lantern Festival - Vietnam's Most Lit Feast

Fairs & Festivals

Sanur Village Festival - Witness Balinese Culture At Its Best!

Fairs & Festivals

Amazing Places to Celebrate Holi in India in 2020

Fairs & Festivals

Wonderfruit 2019 - Dates, Tickets, Timings, Things to Do, Experiences

Fairs & Festivals

Baisakhi in India

Fairs & Festivals

Bathukamma 2020 - Festival of Telangana

Fairs & Festivals

Ugadi - Know all about Karnataka and Telangana's New Year Celebrations

Fairs & Festivals

Guru Nanak Jayanti or Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav - The Most Celebrated Sikh Festival

Fairs & Festivals

Republic Day 2019

Fairs & Festivals

10 Amazing Festivals of Gujarat You Should Definitely Be a Part Of!

Fairs & Festivals

Tapped - India's First & Biggest Craft Beer, Food & Music Festival Is Coming Home to Mumbai!

Fairs & Festivals

Koshy’s - Bangalore’s Most Iconic Old School Restaurant Catered to Nehru and the Queen of England

Fairs & Festivals

Kukur Tihar in Nepal - Celebrations, Dates and Festivities

Fairs & Festivals

Diwali in India: All You Need To Know About Diwali 2020

Fairs & Festivals

Dashain 2019: Be A Part Of Nepal's Biggest Festival!

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals In December You Wouldn't Want To Miss

Fairs & Festivals

Rajasthan Festivals - 22 Festivals of Rajasthan You Simply Cannot Miss!

Fairs & Festivals

UAE National Day 2019 - The Beautiful Celebrations that Commemorate the Emirati Unification

Fairs & Festivals

Eid Al Adha in Oman – Your Concise Guide into The Festivities

Fairs & Festivals

Eid Al-Fitr in Oman - A Guide To Celebrating Eid in Oman

Experiences

Why Visit Japan When you Can Experience The Cherry Blossom In Meghalaya!

Fairs & Festivals

7 Food Festivals in Dubai 2019 - Explore the Taste of Dubai

Fairs & Festivals

Dubai Food Festival 2020 - Middle East on a Plate

Fairs & Festivals

Eid in Dubai - A Guide To Celebrating Eid in Dubai

Experiences

Experience Cinema At 1,400 Ft With the Dharamshala International Film Festival 2019!

Fairs & Festivals

Looking For Some Fun, Flea, Food and Music? Head To The Nearest Sunday Soul Sante

Fairs & Festivals

Pollution-Free Diwali in Delhi - Government Organises A 4-Day Laser Show!

Fairs & Festivals

The Best Dishes of Sri Lanka To Explore it's Local Cuisine

Fairs & Festivals

Holi in Nepal - How The Beautiful nation Celebrates the Festival of Colours

Fairs & Festivals

Mid-autumn Festival 2019 - The Most Vibrant Vietnamese Celebration

Fairs & Festivals

Perang Pandan: The Traditional Balinese War Dance Ceremony

Fairs & Festivals

Denpasar Festival 2019 - Witness the Balinese Extravaganza

Fairs & Festivals

Gai Jatra - The Festival of Turning Grief into Joy

Art & Culture

The Bali Arts Festival 2019 - A Balinese Cultural Rollercoaster

Fairs & Festivals

Food Festivals in Dubai - Exploring The Taste Of Dubai in 7 Events

Fairs & Festivals

Eid Al Adha in UAE - A Look into How The Auspicious Islamic Festival is Celebrated In UAE

Art & Culture

Dubai Expo 2020: Why You Should Be Excited

Fairs & Festivals

Visakha Bucha Day - Witness Thailand's Festival Of Lights!

Fairs & Festivals

Phuket Vegetarian Festival - Experience the Nine Gods Festival

Fairs & Festivals

Muscat Festival 2020 - Experience the Omani Cultural Fiesta!

Fairs & Festivals

Durga Puja in Kolkata 2019 - Festival Celebrations

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals In Oman

Fairs & Festivals

Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2020 - Time to Get Mesmerised!

Fairs & Festivals

Royal Ploughing Ceremony 2020 - Planting Thailand's Seeds of Hope

Fairs & Festivals

Khao Phansa - Festival of 'Buddhist Lent' in Thailand

Fairs & Festivals

Loi Krathong - Thailand's Festival Of Lights

Fairs & Festivals

Chinese New Year in Thailand 2020 - All You Need to Know

Fairs & Festivals

Lopburi Monkey Festival 2019 : The Monkey Buffet of Thailand

Fairs & Festivals

Phi Ta Khon Festival - When The Dead Come Back To Life

Fairs & Festivals

Pattaya Music Festival - A Guide For The Melophile in You!

Fairs & Festivals

6 Food Festivals in Singapore - Explore The City on Your Favourite Plate

Fairs & Festivals

Bun Bang Fai Rocket Fest in Thailand 2019

Fairs & Festivals

Makha Bucha 2020 - What, Where and When

Art & Culture

Be a Part of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, 2019!

Fairs & Festivals

10 Festivals In Dubai You Must Experience

Fairs & Festivals

16 Festivals in Singapore: Experience the Multi-Ethnic Culture

Adventure

OnePlus Musical Festival 2019 - Dates, Registrations, Guests

Adventure

Gujarat's Saputara Monsoon Festival is Here And We Are Excited

Adventure

These Photos Will Excite You for Ganesh Chaturthi Like Never Before

Fairs & Festivals

Fairs and Festivals in April in India: 2019

Fairs & Festivals

Unconventional New Years Traditions Around The World

Fairs & Festivals

9 Festivals and Events To Attend In January 2019

Family Holidays

Pre Plan Your Work Leaves For The Long Weekends in 2019

Adventure

New Year, New Adventure: 10 Day Adventure Tourism In Jharkhand Starts From January 11

Experiences

Nightlife in Khao Lak - 14 Hubs to Seal the Perfect Night in Thailand

Fairs & Festivals

Abhaneri Festival - Here's What To Look Forward To

Fairs & Festivals

7 Festivals of Tamil Nadu You Should Know About And Experience !

Fairs & Festivals

Khmer New Year 2020 - Welcoming the Cambodian New Year

Fairs & Festivals

Celebrate Holi in Vrindavan And Be A Part Of World's Largest Festival of Colours!

Art & Culture

Galle Literary Festival: The Ultimate Sri Lankan's Getaway For Bibliophiles

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals in March in India : 2019

Art & Culture

Dances of Sri Lanka: Culture, History and Where To Watch Them

Fairs & Festivals

Sri Krishna Janmashtami 2019 in Mathura & Vrindavan

Fairs & Festivals

Paro Tshechu 2020 - Celebrations at their Zenith

Fairs & Festivals

Nomad Festival - Celebrating the Bhutanese Ancient Nomadic Life

Fairs & Festivals

Naga Fireball Festival - Thailand's Most Mysterious Festival

Fairs & Festivals

Shivratri in Nepal - An Incredible Gathering of Thousands of Pilgrims

Adventure

Snake Boat Race Happening RIGHT NOW And It Looks Picture Perfect

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Bali - 7 Ways To Spend A Memorable New Year in Bali

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Nepal - 12 Fun Things to Do in Nepal To Welcome 2020

Fairs & Festivals

Salalah Festival 2019 - The Mesmerising Season of Omani Khareef

Fairs & Festivals

Kumbh Mela - Everything You Need To Know About The World's Largest Religious Gathering

Fairs & Festivals

New Year in Vietnam - How to Celebrate Tet Nguyen Dan Like the Vietnamese

Fairs & Festivals

Yacht Week in Croatia - Spend This Summer Partying on a Yacht in Croatia

Fairs & Festivals

Ping Pong Shows in Phuket

Fairs & Festivals

12 Festivals in Thailand That You Must Experience!

Art & Culture

Art Festivals In India For Those Creative & Quirky Minds

Fairs & Festivals

Chanthaburi Fruit Festival 2019 - A Colourful And Delicious Extravaganza

Fairs & Festivals

Poy Sang Long Festival 2019 - What, When and Where

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals of Jammu And Kashmir

Fairs & Festivals

Cruise Your Way To Kumbh Mela This Year

Fairs & Festivals

Hua Hin Jazz Festival - Thailand's Annual Jazz Musical Extravaganza

Fairs & Festivals

10 Festivals of Bangalore That You Need To Experience

Fairs & Festivals

16 Festivals of Indonesia to Witness Colour and Tradition of the Nation

Fairs & Festivals

Festivals in South India: Lights, Colours and Celebrations

Fairs & Festivals

10 Festivals In Vietnam to Experience the Colour and Culture

Fairs & Festivals

Meghalaya Festivals That You Must Experience in Your Next Visit!

Comments on this post