Maha Shivaratri will be celebrated this year in Mauritius on February 20, the night of Shiva or the great night of Shiva is in the Hinduismus an important holiday. For the believers of the God Shiva it is the highest celebration, the holiest of all nights. After the Hindu calendar the holiday is on the 14th day of the month of Phalguna, after the modern calendar at the end of of February/at the beginning of March.
Lord Shiva is known as the Lord of distruction, the festivals is on a moonless night of February. In Mauritius, the festivals starts with the pilgrimage to the Lake of Grand Bassin, sacred to the Hindus, during ten days preceeding the night of Shiva, the believers abtain to eat meat, to drink alcohol and try to remain pure. Usually around one month before the festivals start the preparations.
The Mauritian Hindus make prayer (pujas), they even organise prayers during days and nights to beseech the protection of the Lord of Shiva.
Depending where the pilgrims live they start a long pilgrimage from their home to Grand Bassin, the sacred lake. For some it is a long way to reach the lake, during th epathe path there are generous souls all along who put up stalls for the pilgrims to help them for a rest, a drink, fruits or a vegeterian meal, before continuing their way.
Of course the lasts minutes are the most difficult, one can see the huge statue of the Lord of Shiva but haven’t reach it yet. When arrive you do prayers and go to the lake where the pilgrims bring back “jal”, the holy water, to pour it on Lord Shiva at their home or in the nnearest temple.