Maha Shivaratree is celebrated every year on the 13th night and on the 14th day of the 11th month of the Hindu calendar. It usually appears in February or March on the Gregorian calendar. The main event of Maha Shivaratree in Mauritius takes place at Lake Ganga Talao, located in the center of the island. Since the holy water of the Ganges River in India was poured into this lake in 1972, it has also become an important sacred place for Hindus. Large crowds of devout Hindus set out on a pilgrimage to Lake Maha Shivaratree. Dressed in white, they carry on their shoulders large bamboo-paper images of various Hindu gods and virtues. On the shore of the lake they pray, make offerings in one of the many temples on the lake and collect holy water from the lake to the dishes. After returning home, the faithful pour water from the holy lake onto the statue of Shiva that they have at home or nearby.
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