Thaipoosam Cavadee is a Tamil festival and public holiday in Mauritius, held annually in Tamil communities across the island.
The festival is celebrating the Hindu deity Murugan, the son of Lord Shiva, and belong to one of the most important Tamil festivals in Mauritius.
Every year after a fasting period, the devotees walk across the island to Tamil temples, carrying their decorated ‘cavadees’ with them, in honor of Lord Murugan – the Tamil God of war and victory.
The ‘cavadee’ or kavadi, is essentially a physical burden, expressing various acts of devotion to Lord Murugan, and it is not uncommon to express devotion through mortification of the flesh, typically by piercing the skin on the chest, the cheek or tongue.
Other ‘lighter’ forms of cavadees or kavadis includes carrying various carved structures of wood, typically decorated in honor of Lord Murugan with flowers, pictures and fruit.
Thaipoosam Cavadee 2012 occurs in Mauritius around the 7th of February, which is also an official Public Holiday in Mauritius.