By Ashwinee Ragoonanan

Kartik is one of the largest Hindu festivals celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago. There are many venues throughout the country, but Manzanill Beach is the most popular. Thousands of Hindus come from all regions to do puja and bathe in the sea. On this day the puja is to Lord Vishnu in the form of Matsya Avatar, his incarnation as a fish in which he warned Manu of the impending world flood. At this time the marriage of Lord Vishnu to the Goddess is observed. Devotees believe that a ceremonial bath on this day in the rivers or the sea is like bathing with the Lord and in the Lord. Puja rites, singing, dancing, offerings of fruits and clothing are presented to the Divine couple, Vishnu and the Goddess.