Vinayaka Chaturthi Celebration in Mauritius:
Mauritius is a country outside South East Asia, where Hinduism is practiced by a vast majority of people. One can assess the popularity of Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mauritius by the single fact that Ganesh Chaturthi is declared a national holiday in that country. For many business people in India this festival has the significance of beginning of a new financial year.
In Mauritius the practice of celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi festival commenced in the last century. Unlike the North American and European countries, the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mauritius follows a similar pattern as that of India. Well before the festival begins, people clean their houses and decorate them with flowers. The first day, the lord is brought in the house, positioned on a pedestal and decorated with sandal paste and flowers.
There is a general belief that Ganesha is a big foodie and devotees offer him delicacies every day, which include Modak, a sweet dish of rice flour stuffed with jaggery and dry coconut. Arti is performed in the evenings and people sing prayers worshipping the lord. On the concluding day the family members take the idols to sea and immerse in water.
Apart from the celebrations at home, celebrations are also held in different Hindu temples of Mauritius. Thousands of people gather there and hence the celebrations at the temples become more impressive. The Indian High commission in Mauritius organizes special shows and cultural events to celebrate this festival.