Seychelles Hindu Devotees show their Mettle at Thaipoosam Kavadi Festival

photo_verybig_2302VICTORIA, SEYCHELLES, February 4, 2015 (Seychelles News Agency): Hindus from all over the world celebrate the annual Thaipoosam Kavadi Festival, and the island archipelago of the Seychelles, located in the western Indian Ocean, is no different. Devotees of the Hindu Deity Lord Muruga flocked into the streets of the nation’s tiny capital, Victoria, on the main island of Mahe on Tuesday to partake in the colorful event to the fascination of onlookers. The Seychelles, with its population of 90,000, has a small minority (around four percent) of permanent Indian inhabitants. The Indian community is among some of the earliest settlers of the Seychelles islands, mostly from southern Tamil Nadu and some from the north-western province of Gujarat.

The Hindu Kovil Sangam, the local religious organisation for most Hindus in the country, invited the public to participate in the procession, which ended off at the Navasakthi Vinayagar temple dedicated to Lord Muruga, the warrior Deity followed primarily by Hindus of Tamil origin. The festival is observed in countries where there is a significant presence of Tamil people, including India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, South Africa, Singapore, Guadalupe, Reunion, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar.

On the morning of the festival, male devotees shaved their heads and proceeded along the narrow streets of Victoria lined with onlookers while carrying various types of kavadi. The simplest type of kavadi is a pot of milk, but they commonly entail elaborate and colorful frames pulled or balanced by means of skewers or hooks pierced into the flesh. When the procession finally arrives at the temple, the devotees offered pots of milk to anoint Lord Muruga and to pray for His blessings.

Source: Hinduism Today