Events and Festivals
Mauritius spans the cultural spectrum in terms of religion, with Christians, Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists co-existing harmoniously side by side. This melting pot of culture lends itself to a diverse experience for the traveller who can witness centuries of beliefs and traditions at the various festivals throughout the year.
Chinese Spring Festival/New Year
Celebrated by the Mauritian Chinese each January or February, this festival is dominated by the colour red which symbolises happiness.
This festival is also called 'the great night of Shiva' and is celebrated by a pilgrimage to "Grand Bassin," a natural lake on the central plateau. Generally held in February, the pilgrims dressed in white proceed to Grand Bassin carrying a bamboo contraption on their shoulders as a sign of sacrifice.
Mauritius National Day
Mauritius’ National Day is celebrated on 12th March each year.
This religious festival is celebrated mostly by Indians of Tamil origin and is quite an event. After a period of ten days fasting, participants go to the temple with their offerings on their back. There is also a fire-walking ceremony that is performed by the Indo-Mauritians of southern origin.
Divali is celebrated by all Indo-Mauritians and a number of other communities. It was originally an Indian festival celebrating the victory of Lord Rama over the devil as depicted in the epic poem, Ramayana. Many Mauritians decorate their homes with small oil lamps or electric bulbs and cakes are cooked and shared amongst neighbours and parents.
This festival is celebrated at the end of Ramadan. All Muslims celebrate the day with prayers at the mosques where food and cakes are shared with neighbours, friends and the poor.
FIK (Festival International Kreol)
Every year, the International Creole Day is celebrated to showcase the authenticity of the creole culture through local music, arts, language and cuisine. It runs during November and focuses on creativity and innovation.
Porlwi by Nature
The annual festival of contemporary culture sees the capital Port Louis illuminated and taken over by artists in December. The festival supports the evolution of all forms of art on the island and calls on creative artists and talent from around the world to take part and showcase their work in three categories: street art, street music, and street light. (porlwi.com)
Mauritius has a big Christian community, mostly of Catholic faith. As such, most Christian celebrations like Easter and Christmas are celebrated here with some of the same traditions as in Europe. During Easter, you will find the traditional Easter chocolate eggs on sale everywhere on the island. For Christmas, the living room is decorated with a Christmas tree and gifts are offered to the children. The sight of Santa Claus in a tropical island is a unique experience of Christmas in the sunshine.
Indian Ocean Island Games
The Indian Ocean Island Games is a multi-sport tournament for athletes from the Islands of the Indian Ocean including Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion and the Maldives.
In July 2019, Mauritius will be hosting the next Games in the capital, Port Louis. The host country rotates around the islands of Réunion, Mauritius, Madagascar and Seychelles, each taking a turn every 16 years.
There are at least five sports on each program, including the two essential events, swimming and Athletics.
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius
The AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open is the most famous men's professional golf tournament in Mauritius. Different hotels host the tournament each year.
Challenge yourself by signing up to the 2019 Mauritius marathon – certainly one of the most beautiful in the world.