Fantastic Yearly Festivals in Mauritius You Can’t Miss

One of the biggest parts of Mauritian culture is our mixed heritage, stemming from 3 continents- and that includes our fantastic yearly festivals in Mauritius. We take lots of pride in our island’s wonderful diversity.

Which is why we’ve decided to put together a short list of our fantastic festivals celebrated in Mauritius.

If you happen to be here during any of these, you’re more than welcome to join us to find out more about us!

Chinese Spring Festival Photo by Bob JagendorfP I N this to pinterest

Chinese Spring Festival Photo by Bob Jagendorf

Chinese Spring Festival (Jan.-Feb., depending on the Chinese calendar)

Chinese Mauritians celebrate this festival by wearing or using a lot of bright reds (red=happiness); knives and scissors are forbidden; and it’s a family gathering holiday. Firecrackers are lit in the evening to ward off evil.

The most famous part of this festival is the Dragon Feast, of course, which is truly spectacular to see. A few days after the start of the festival, Chinese dancers and musicians take to the street and the dancers perform the Lion Dance.

Lord Shiva Photo by R. NatrajP I N this to pinterest

Lord Shiva Photo by R. Natraj

Maha Shivaratree Festival (Usually in Feb.)

Mauritian Hindus dress in white and make a pilgrimage to the Grand Bassin Lake (they travel from all over the island for this). They carry ‘Kanwar,’ or wooden arches decorated with tiny mirrors and flowers.

This festival is in honor of the Lord Shiva. Believers take water from the lake and have small celebrations for 3 or 4 days.

Eid al-Fitr Photo by Syefri ZulkefliP I N this to pinterest

Eid al-Fitr Photo by Syefri Zulkefli

Id-El-Fitr Festival (End of Ramadan, depending on the year)

Mauritian Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan (a month-long fast during daylight) by meeting with family and friends to exchange gifts. They also give alms to the poor. This is to wish each other good luck and fortune in the future.

Firewalking Photo by Aidan JonesP I N this to pinterest

Firewalking Photo by Aidan Jones

Fire Walking Festival (Dec.-Feb., depending on the year)

Tamil Mauritians purify, fast and pray for 10 days before they fire walk. They walk across hot coals, then cleanse their feet in milk after, in honour of Draupada.

Cavadee Festival Dancer Photo by Michael HoefnerP I N this to pinterest

Cavadee Festival Dancer Photo by Michael Hoefner

Cavadee Festival (Feb.)

Another Tamil festival, this one is famous for body piercing. 10 days of fasting are followed by a pilgrimage to temples with the participants pierced in pins. The pins are typically in the cheeks, tongues, chests or backs.

During their pilgrimage they carry flower-decorated wooden structures (‘Cavadee’) and seem to be in a trance state for the journey.

Holi CelebrationP I N this to pinterest

Holi Celebration

Holi (Feb.-Mar.)

It’s a fun Indian celebration to celebrate spring. The night before Holi, there’s a large bonfire with ceremonies. The next day, everyone throws colored water and powder onto each other to wish good fortune.

Ougadi Festival Photo by HazarivP I N this to pinterest

Ougadi Festival Photo by Hazariv

Ougadi Festival (Mar.-Apr., depending on the year)

Telegu Mauritians celebrate their New Year with family celebrations. It includes elaborate meals, intricate shows and the exchange of gifts or sweets.

Ganesh Photo by GourangaUKP I N this to pinterest

Ganesh Photo by GourangaUK

Ganesh (Aug.-Sept., depending on the year)

A Hindu celebration of the birth of the God Ganesh, small replicas of the elephant head representing him are taken to a river. The head must be dipped before the sun sets.

Photo : en.wikipedia.org

Photo : en.wikipedia.org

Pere Laval (Sept. 9)

The first to be beatified by Pope John Paul II, Mauritians drive or walk to Ste Croix in Port Louis to the site of his burial. There they pray over their ‘Apostle of the Black People.’

Divali Festival Photo by PeddhapatiP I N this to pinterest

Divali Festival Photo by Peddhapati

Divali Festival/Festival of Lights (Oct. or Nov., depending on the year)

Hindus celebrate the victory of Rama (light/truth) over Ravana (darkness/ignorance) with lights in their homes. Traditionally, small clay pots with candles were used, but now it’s more common to use fairie lights. Families and friends meet and exchange cakes.

Mauritian Holidays

February 1: Abolition of Slavery Day

March 12: National (Mauritius) Day

September 9: Pere Laval Day

November 2: Arrival of Indentured Laborers Day

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of fantastic yearly festivals in Mauritius. Have you ever been to one? What did you think? Tell us down below!

Until later, adieu- Ido Productions

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