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Kavadi celebrated with fervor and devotion |06 February 2023

Kavadi celebrated with fervor and devotion

Between sacrifice and devotion, ‘Kavadi’ on the shoulders, tongues and backs pierced, hundreds of faithful converged in procession yesterday morning towards the Hindu Temple on Quincy Street in Victoria.

The Thaipoosam Kavadi brought together devotees from across the island with locals and tourists admiring the beautiful display of the Kavadis.

The women and children also participated in this religious festival and they were carrying pots of milk on their head. We could also see the participation of the youth with their smaller ‘Kavadi’ and performing the traditional dance to the music.

All the rituals such as piercing of the skin and body started earlier on and the Kavadi procession left the temple on Quincy Street around 8.45am and winded its way through Revolution Avenue, Harrisson Street, Lodge Street and back to the temple.

Throughout the procession, traditional oriental music was provided by a group specially flown in from India as well as from the musicians of the temple.

The Maha Abishegam and special Pooja were held after the procession around 10.45am followed by a common vegetarian lunch for all.

The chairman of the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam, Gopal Pillay, shared that “this is the 31st edition of the Thaipoosam Kavadi organised by the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam. Men, women and children participated in the Kavadi and the devotees had to fast for three days. We prayed for peace, prosperity and health for the world. After the procession, the devotees bring milk to offer to Lord Muruga. We thank President Wavel Rankalawan and the Police Force for supporting us in celebrating this event.”

Kavadi is one of the offerings done to Lord Muruga by his pious devotees. Kavadi in Tamil means (carrying wait on shoulder). This offering needs lots of will power and devotion.


Austerity and penance

Before taking Kavadi to Lord Muruga, the devotees must train themselves to undergo many rules, severe penance and regulations. For about 48 days, they should not consume any non-vegetarian foods; they should bathe twice a day and that too in cold water; they should not indulge in family pleasure during those days; they should not trim their hair; they should not wear slippers; and they should visit the temple every day. These are the norms followed before they start their spiritual journey.

But once they start their walk, with Kavadi on the shoulder, they should not keep it down until they reach a sacred place like the temple or ashram. This is because the Kavadi they are carrying is equal to Lord Muruga Himself. Another very important thing is that the devotees taking Kavadi must complete their walk no matter what.

The event was graced by the presence of Indian high commissioner Kartik Pande as well as locals and tourists. The event ran smoothly and the public and tourists alike celebrated with the devotees by having some fresh butter milk by the Chez Deenu Supermarket and vegetarian food at the temple.


Vidya Gappy

Photos: Joena Meme

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