It could be safe to say that what Maha Shivaratree is to Hindus, Ganesh Chaturthi is to the Hindus of Marathi faith. A certain fever seems to grip Mauritius when this festival comes around. And what makes it even more exciting is that it is a 10-day long celebration, and not just a one day affair.

As the festival rolls by, life as you know it seems to pause. These 10 days are just about the festivities and how. Ganesha Chaturthi is a Hindu festival celebrated in Mauritius, India and around the world marking the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the destroyer of obstacles. It is observed during the Hindu month of Bhadra (mid-August to mid-September) and lasts for 10 days. The festivities culminate on the tenth day, which is called Ananta Chaturdashi. This year, Ganesh Chaturthi falls on 5th September 2016.

Here Are 10 Things You Should Know About the Festival:

1. An idol of Bappa, as he is lovingly called, is brought into almost every Hindu Marathi household.

2. Here he is placed in a position of respect (sthapna), often on a raised platform, sometimes even a throne.

3. The idol is adorned with new clothes and treated like a treasured guest.

4. He is fed pure water with honey and milk.

5. People invite friends and family to come and pay their respects to Ganpati Bappa.

6. Pujas are performed twice a day for as long as the idol is home.

7. One can choose to keep the idol home for 2,5,7 or 10 days.

8. On the last day, a farewell is performed in the form of Uttarpuja. It is then carried and immersed in water, either the sea, rivers, lakes or even a bucket of water.

9. The final visarjan day is when all the celebrations are at their peak. Mauritius comes to a standstill and traffic jams are expertly managed by the traffic police.

10. Flic-en-Flac and beaches like Tamarin are popular visarjan spots in Mauritius.

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