South Africa Freedom Day Celebrated By Hindus In Fire Ritual

Hindus Gather At Sacred Rivers For Kumbh Mela Festival
LLAHABAD, INDIA – JANUARY 19: Hindu pilgrims stay warm by a fire near the ritual bathing site at Sangam, the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers during the Ardh Kumbh Mela festival (Half Pitcher festival) January 19, 2006 in Allahabad, India.
The water is heavily polluted and many Sadhus (holy men) have threatened to boycott the bathing this year due to the pollution. Organizers expected up to 20 million pilgrims Hindu pilgrims to bathe today on the most auspicious day of the 45 day festival in northern India.
The festival commemorates the mythical conflict between gods and demons over a pitcher filled with the ‘nectar of immortality’. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges at this time washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation.
(Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

South Africa celebrates Freedom Day today. Hindus in the country show their unity as they celebrate the event with an ancient fire ritual.

The ancient ritual known as Vedic ritual yajna is held in Marburg Sports Complex in Port Shepstone town of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. As the country celebrates its Freedom Day, the Hindus perform the yajna ritual in front of the 108 sacred fires and mantras. They believe that this ancient custom from the ancient Brahmanas will bring peace in South Africa.
The Port Shepstone Hindu Cultural Federation and Hindu organizations in South Africa host the event while various priests participate in the ancient fire ritual. The Freedom Day event is open and free to the public. Lunch and the sacred offering of Hawan Samagri are provided.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, praised the event’s host for the observance of the ancient fire ritual. He believes that Hinduism should be passed on to the younger generations. He also reminded everyone to turn from materialism and direct one’s focus inwards. Zed related Hinduism with South Africa’s Freedom Day when he said that the goal of Hinduism is liberation.
South Africa marked its Freedom Day in 1994, the first time they held a democratic election and ended apartheid. The Telegraph quoted South Africa’s government’s website that explained the event “marks the end of over three hundred years of colonialism, segregation and white minority rule and the establishment of a new democratic government led by Nelson Mandela and a new state subject to a new constitution.”
While the Hindus perform their ancient fire ritual praying for peace in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma heads to Giyani stadium, Limpopo Province for a keynote address. Despite being on the lead among African countries, South Africa is still plagued by corruption allegations. Yet the current government believes there are enough reasons to celebrate.