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Festivals in Mauritius

Some popular festivals

The purpose of this article is to describe each feast celebrated in Mauritius and awaken the curiosity of the reader, offering to read an overview of some of the celebrations celebrated in Mauritius. All the celebrations celebrated in Mauritius are not included, only the main ones, which are also little known to tourists.

Spring Festival – January 28

Each year the Chinese community of the island celebrates the arrival of spring or otherwise Chinese New Year, with a lot of pagoda offerings, parades, dance, decorations, fireworks, and of firecrackers, intended to make the demons flee.

Thaipoosam Cavadee – February 09

Festival of Tamil origin, Thaipoosam Cavadee marks the end of ten days of fasting by a very impressive purification rite. For several hours, the participants carried the Cavadee, a wooden ark covered with flowers and offerings, and pierced the body, face and tongue with a multitude of needles to which are suspended small objects or silts.

Maha Shivaratree – February 24

Maha Shivaratree, celebrated in honour of the god Shiva, is one of the most celebrated festivals of the Hindu community of the island. It lasts 4 days. During the great night, which follows a period of fasting and chastity, 500,000 faithful go to the sacred lake of Grand Bassin, dressed in white.

National Holiday – March 12

Every year the whole country celebrated the anniversary of independence, proclaimed on March 12, 1968. At noon, the ceremony of the flag raising to the sound of the Mauritian national anthem and in the afternoon, numerous cultural events, parades and commemorations take place all over the island

Holi, the festival of colours – End of Feb or early Mar.

Holi, great Hindu festival of the spring equinox, glorifies fertility and love. In the night that precedes it, bonfires are lit to symbolize the destruction of the demon Holika. On the day of the festival, the participants sprinkle each person crossing their path with water and coloured powder.

Eid-el-Fitr – June 26 (depending on the visibility of the moon)

Eid-el-Fitr celebrates the end of Ramadan. After 30 days of fasting, it is a day of rejoicing that is celebrated with prayers, gifts and a banquet of Briani, a Muslim dish imported from India, typical of Mauritius, the date varies according to the country and to the visibility of the moon.

Father Laval’s feast – Jacques Désiré Laval – September 09th

The so-called “Apostle of the Blacks” is celebrated by Mauritians of all origins who come to collect and invoke miracles on his tomb at St. Croix. Open-air masses are also organized. Missionary and physician, he federated freed slaves in the 19th century.

Divali – October 19, 2017

This feast, one of the most important on the island, represents for the Hindus the victory of Good over Evil. She celebrates the liberation of the Goddess Sita and the return of her husband Rama, the 7th avatar of Vishnu. On this occasion, the houses are decorated with a multitude of multi-coloured lights supposed to illuminate their way.

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