The annual Kavadi celebration in Durban takes during the last weekend of the
month of July, drawing in massive crowds of Hindu devotees. About sixty temples
in and around the Durban area hold processions in honour of a popular Hindu
deity, Lord Muruga the hindu God of war, and the patron deity of the Tamil land.
Although this festival is celebrated widely throughout the province of KwaZulu
Natal, the most popular site for viewing is the Sri Shiva temple in Mount
Edgecombe, located just north of Durban.
Devotees fast for two days, then shave their heads and carry heavy wooden shoulder arches and pierce their tongues, cheeks and torso with a variety of tiny metal spears and hooks, while other choose to walk on nailed sandals and pull wagons using hooks embedded in their backs.
Devotees believe that the greater the pain experienced, a higher merit is earned. It is said that devotees taking part in Kavadi enter an intense state of physical surrender and penance, and later move into type of trance, feeling no pain, and not bleeding from the piercings.
Slowly swaying and walking to the sound of drums and singing, the festival goers make their way to the Umgeni River into which the arches are then thrown as a sacrifice. Then in a further act of devotion they walk across a thirty foot long bed of glowing coals. The festival is joyous and serves as an opportunity to bring the Hindu community together in unity.
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Welcome to Lisa's Guesthouse, affordable self catering accommodation situated right on one of Durban's finest beaches. Thank you for taking the time to take a tour of our beachfront guesthouse and learning more about what we have to offer.
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