If you are planning at trip to Mauritius, no mater when you go there is normally some form of festival or celebration taking place. This is due to the vast mix of of religions and cultures that make up the overall population. Mauritius is home to Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists, each with their own holidays and traditions.
No matter what your cultural background is, Mauritius welcomes all faiths and celebrates diversity and acceptance during national Mauritius holidays and festivals. Take a look below at some of the main events taking place throughout the year.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Spring Festival, normally takes place between January and February but this is dictated by the by Chinese calendar. This festival, like with many other countries across the world, is celebrated by locals as well as the Chinese of Mauritius. There is normally lots of food, parades, dragon dancers, fireworks, firecrackers to ward off evil spirits, and dancers who perform the Lion Dance. The main place to go to is Chinatown in Port Louis where you will see lots of red decorations symbolising joy and good fortune.
The Holi festival, normally taking place in March, is a fantastic event to attend if you are in Mauritius. Holi is an Indian festival that incorporates fire and vivid bright colours in celebration of the beginning of spring. The festivities start with Holika Dahan that happens on the eve of Holi. There is a procession where an effigy of Holika is taken through the streets and then burned on a bonfire. The next day, people from all communities come together in celebration and throw coloured powder on one and other to break down social barriers and promote togetherness.
Mauritius National Holiday
The Mauritius National Holiday is a celebration of its independence. On March 12th 1968, Mauritius claimed independence from Britain and became a new sovereign nation. This day is now celebrated nationally each year involving parades, festivities, political speeches and ceremonies. There are also public and private events attended by various ethnicities, each representing their own cultural heritage to celebrate the overall cultural diversity and history of Mauritius.
The Ganesh Chaturti Festival is celebrated between August and September. This is a Hindu festival that commemorates the birth of the God Ganesh. Statues of Ganesh made with earth are paraded through the streets and taken to riverbanks or beaches where the statues are immersed in water before the sun sets. This is a public holiday in Mauritius.
Diwali, also known as the festival of light, takes place between October and November. This is a Hindus festival that is seen to be the most important of the year. Hindus and many Mauritians decorate their homes with lights, normally small oil lamps, candles, clay lamps or fairy lights. The streets are also decorated with electric lights. The lights symbolise joy and happiness for the New Year, and cakes and sweets are shared.
We hope that these festivals have inspired you to start planning your trip to Mauritius today.