Ganesh Chaturthi at Tamarin Bay

Last Thursday was a public holiday here in Mauritius. It was the celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi.

After a day at home, we were a bit restless in the afternoon, so we decided to go see the celebrations on the beach of Tamarin Bay.

 

Ganesh Chaturthi

 

I had learned from my son’s nanny, who is from the Hindu community, that it is a very popular and joyful celebration for the Marathi community. Prior to the day of celebration, houses are cleaned thoroughly and festivities are prepared. Statues of lord Ganesh, made from earth, are welcomed into the houses while inhabitants fast and pray. These statues cannot be kept inside the houses after the celebrations and they are immersed into the water of rivers or of the sea.

When we arrived at Tamarin Bay, the prayers had already started and there was a lot of people on the beach already. The Marathi were nicely dressed with beautiful brightly colored clothes. Lots of tourists and people from different communities also came to watch the celebrations.

 

Ganesh Chaturthi at Tamarin Bay

 

They chanted and prayed in front of the statues, with offerings and burning incense. Then the statues were brought to the sea shore.

 

Ganesh Chaturthi at Tamarin Bay

 

One of the statues of Lord Ganesh, who has an elephant head and a human body, was huge. I don’t remember seeing one that big last year.

 

Ganesh Chaturthi at Tamarin Bay

 

Slowly, the men carrying the statues walked backwards into the sea. Once the water was deep enough, they dived and let the statues rest in the water where they will melt back into earth.

 

 

Once the ritual finished, they went back to their homes to continue the festivities. We stayed a little while more on the beach and had the most gorgeous sunset to finish this beautiful day!

 

Ganesh Chaturthi at Tamarin Bay

 

Have you seen a ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’ celebration before? Have you seen or taken part in other Hindu celebrations? What do you enjoy the most during these celebrations? Share with us in the comments below.

 

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
Waves at Tamarin Bay
Diwali celebrations
By the river mouth

If you enjoyed this post, get email updates.
(It's free)

4 comments

  1. Dear Priscilla,

    I am a Marathi too, from Maharashtra, India. I also celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi here in Thane, Mumbai. I am following the culture of Marathi people from Mauritius as it is my passion to follow them as the ancestors of those Marathi people have migrated to Mauritius some one & falf century ago from my native village and district from Maharashtra, India. may be, some of them are my cousins.

    Priscilla, your this article brought some sort of nostalgic feeling to me, as a big family of our common ancestor were celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi, though far away from each other, but with same devotion.

    Thanks & regards.

    –Arvind

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *