Maha Shivaratree is a public holiday of great importance to many of the Hindu population in Mauritius. It is the “Great Night of Shiva” and commemorates the marriage of Shiva to Parvati according to Hindu tradition.
In Mauritius, Hindu crowds participate in the mass pilgrimage to the Ganga Talao Lake located in the middle of the island. In 1972 water from the sacred river Ganges was poured here making it a very important place in the religious life of the Hindu community.
All pilgrims are dressed in white and carry Kanwars on their shoulders—structures made of bamboo and paper decorations as a symbol of obedience, surrender, and gratitude to the divine will. When people reach the lake, they say their prayers and make offerings inside one of the numerous shrines surrounding the lake.
When all prayers are said and all offerings are made, pilgrims take sacred water from the Ganga Talao and take it back to their homes to pour it over their own statues of Shiva.
We wish you all a pious Maha Shivaratree festival.