The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, presided this afternoon the first ministerial meeting of the National Task Force in the context of the festival of Maha Shivratree 2022. The meeting was held at the Sir Harilal Vaghjee Memorial Hall, in Port-Louis.
The aim was to ensure that Maha Shivratree, which is a major festival annually observed in honour of Lord Shiva, be organised in ideal conditions and in respect of all sanitary protocols prevailing in the country.
The meeting enabled Ministers and the various representatives from government institutions/departments and socio-cultural associations to discuss and share their proposals as well as views which pertain to the arrangements being made for the festival.
In a statement, the Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that the country is facing an exceptional situation with sanitary restrictions imposed and expressed hope that next year the situation will improve and that the Maha Shivratree pilgrimage can take place as it should. However, he emphasised, this will depend on what the pandemic situation prevailing during the time of the festival and the appropriate decision will be taken accordingly.
The Prime Minister moreover expressed gratitude to the representatives of socio-cultural associations for their participation at the present National Task Force meeting to prepare for the Maha Shivratree festival which will be celebrated on 1st March 2022.
For Maha Shivratree 2021, he recalled, pilgrims were requested to stop converging to Grand Bassin as COVID-19 contamination rate was on the rise. On that note, Mr Jugnauth commended socio-cultural associations who understood the situation and consequently sensitised pilgrims in a bid to better protect them. The pilgrims, the Prime Minister pointed out, also paid heed and returned back to their homes to protect themselves.
The Prime Minister further indicated that the National Task Force met to start preparations for the festival as these should be done well in advance and reassured that the authorities will take on board the proposals made by all stakeholders so that the festival is held smoothly.
Maha Shivratree, literally translates as 'the great night of Lord Shiva' and it is on this night that Lord Shiva performs his heavenly dance or 'tandav'.
Of the 12 Shivratrees observed in any given year, Maha Shivratree is considered especially auspicious. Shivratree is the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti, which in essence means the masculine and feminine energies that balance the world. In Hindu culture, this is a solemn festival that marks the remembrance of 'overcoming darkness and ignorance in life'.