In Mauritius, the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi is a public holiday. It is also sometimes called “Vinayak Chaturthi”. While the date is determined based on the Hindu calendar, it falls in August or September on the Gregorian (Western) Calendar.
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The legend behind Ganesh Chaturthi is that of the birth of Ganesha, who is believed to have been the younger son of Shiva and Parvati. He is considered the god of wisdom and one who can take away all obstacles from the paths of his followers, to give the success. The legends also say that his “mother” created Ganesha by making a doll out of dough and the breathing life into it so he could guard her while she bathed.
Ganesh Chaturthi festival has been kept up in Mauritius since 1896, and with about half the population being Hindu today, it is the most celebrated holiday of the year. People immerse the idol of Ganesha in the sea, on the beaches, after a procession to the immersion spot of a particular municipality. Or, the immersion can take place at a river instead. And sometimes, families have their own private immersion ceremonies as well.