Mauritius — Festivals and Events
The Mauritian community is made up of people of various faiths, particularly Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christian, which contribute to the many festivals and events that take place throughout the year, the bulk of which are between late December and early April.
Chinese New Year
This annual Mauritius celebration takes place in late January or early February at the beginning of the Chinese lunar calendar. Events include feasting, fireworks and parades with lion and dragon dances. The main events take place in China Town, Port Louis.
This Tamil Hindu festival takes place annually at the cusp of January and February. It sees devotees, many with pierced tongues, cheeks or with limes hanging from their skin by hooks, bearing ornate cavadees to the temple while in a trance-like state.
During late February or early March, Hindus from all over Mauritius dress in white and walk to collect holy water from the volcanic Grand Bassin Lake.
Held on March 12 each year, this festival is for Mauritians to celebrate independence and the foundation of the state in 1968. The day is a national holiday full of parades, special events and patriotism. Most of the action takes place on the waterfront of Port Louis.
This colorful Hindu festival takes place in February in Mauritius, celebrating a good harvest with parades, music, dancing, and by throwing colored powder and water on each other for luck.
This Hindu festival in mid-March celebrates the new year of the Telegu Indian ethnic group with cultural shows, prayer and giving sweets.
Mauritius has a large Christian, predominantly Catholic population who celebrate Easter in early April in much the same fashion as other parts of the world with church services, parades and chocolate eggs.
Father Laval Day
Jacques-Désiré Laval came to Mauritius in 1841 to work as a healer and missionary. He was the first person beautified by Pope John Paul II. On September 9, Father Laval’s birthday, Mauritians of all faiths head to his tomb in Sainte Croix, Port Louis to pay respect to this symbol of love and compassion.
Eid-Ul-Fitr usually takes place towards the end of September and is a Muslim festival celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Break the fast celebrations include prayers, feasting, gift-giving, and charity.
The annual festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated by the large Hindu population of Mauritius to mark the triumph of good over evil. It takes place in late October or early November and is characterized by cake eating and the lighting of candles, electric bulbs and earthen lamps.
International Kreol Festival
Established in 2005, the International Kreol Festival is a four day event taking place in early December to celebrate Creole culture in Mauritius. Activities include traditional dancing, music and games, culminating with an all night grand concert on the final day.
The Christians of Mauritius celebrate the birth of Christ with Christmas on the December 25. Expect to see decorated trees, gift giving, singing, and church services.