Mauritius Festivals

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These festivals are of religious origins but some of the religious festivals have become national ones. Mauritians are very religious people and the festivals are very often celebrated with much fervour and devotion.
Maha Shivaratree
Mauritius maha shivaratree

This festival also called 'the great night of Shiva' 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 bamboo contraption on their shoulders as a sign of sacrifice.

Mauritius cavadeeThis religious festival is celebrated mostly by Indians of Tamil origin and is quite a sight. The participants after a period of fasting, have their cheeks, tongues and chests pierced with needles before going to the temple with their offerings on their back. There is also a fire-walking ceremony that is performed by these Indo-Mauritians of southern origin, which is quite spectacular.
Divali is celebrated by all Indo-Mauritians and also by people of other communities. Originally an Indian festival celebrating the victory of Lord Rama over the devil as depicted in the epic poem, Ramayana. Many Mauritians who decorate their homes with small oil lamps or electric bulbs have adopted this festival also known as the festival of light. Cakes are cooked and shared among neighbours and parents on that day.
An Indian festival, where the celebrants splash each other with colours, sing and dance around happily.
Father Laval Day
On September 9th, birthday of Blessed Father Jacques Désiré Laval, people of all communities walk to his shrine at Sainte Croix. A priest of French origin in the 18th century, Jacques Désiré Laval became the protector of the slaves' community and has become the symbol of compassion and love.
Chinese Spring Festivals
Mauritius chinese festival

The Chinese New Year's Day or the Spring Festival is the most important festival for the Sino-Mauritian community. This festival is preceded by a thorough cleaning of the home and is characterised by the traditional sharing of wax cakes amongst relatives and friends. On that day firecrackers are lit to chase evil spirits. Special celebrations are held on that day in Port Louis in China town with Chinese Dragons and lion dances.

Festival celebrated at the end of the holy month of fasting, Ramadan. All Muslims celebrate this day with prayers at the mosques where food and cakes are shared. These are also shared with neighbours, friends and the poor.
Christian's festivals
Mauritius has a big Christian community, mostly of Catholic faith. As such, most Christian celebration like Easter and Christmas are celebrated here with some of the same tradition 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 who make his appearance in shopping centres everywhere and shops decorated with Christmas winter decorations, can be quite peculiar under the tropic. But it adds to a festive period celebrated by most and which continues until the end of year.
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