Festivals In Mauritius You Don’t Want To Miss

Planning a tropical vacation to Mauritius is highly recommended. However, planning a vacation to the island that coincides with one of the country’s biggest annual events will give you a grander experience as you’ll see local cultures celebrate one of numerous special days. The majority of residents occupying the island are Indians and Creole, so expect plenty of cultural celebrations with vivid colors and extravagance. Here are some of the top festivals and celebrations in Mauritius you don’t want to miss.

Thaipoosum Cavadee

The Tamil Hindus celebrate this special day (January) in honor of Lord Muruga. During the festivities, locals dressed in fuchsia pink line the street with lavishly-decorated shrines full of flowers, bamboo and coconut leaves. Stick around to watch the not-so-ordinary performance of devotion of locals piercing their bodies and elevating themselves off the ground with hooks in their skin. This celebration kicks off a ten-day routine of fasting, praying and ablution rituals.


Plan your trip around the end of October to early November and you’ll notice something out of the ordinary. By nightfall, patio lights, lamps and candles surround homes for Diwali, making the whole island flicker like a magical fairyland. The celebration is to honor the Hindu god, Krishna’s defeat over the demon Narakasuran. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered sweets randomly by strangers, as distributing baked goods is part of Diwali’s custom as a reminder to treat your neighbors and friends with kindness.

Chinese Spring Festival

Every February, the Chinese population of Mauritius kick off the season with a festival. Chinese Spring Festival (or alternatively known as just Chinese New Year) lights up red lanterns all around Chinatown in Port Louis and visitors can watch an exciting parade filled with dancing people dressed as lions and dragons. Although the Chinese population is relatively small in Mauritius (only 3%), this festival makes a big impression throughout the island. Expect to find wax cakes everywhere, a popular delicacy to ward off evil spirits.

Ganesh Chathurti

Every September, a ten-day festival is celebrated to commemorate Ganesha, the Hindu God with the head of an elephant. Ganesh Cathurti celebrations usually consist with locals showing off statues of Ganesha on the streets and sometimes submerging them in the ocean. Also, devotees are not allowed to look at the moon during the festivities.

Holi Festival

Every spring, the most popular and exciting celebration in the Indian community is the long-awaited Holi Festival. For two days, locals hit the streets with dancing and singing before throwing rainbow-colored powders at each other to celebrate the start of spring. Expect to get covered in colorful powder if you are in Mauritius during Holi festival (you’ll want to leave your best outfit behind at the hotel). Sweets are also passed out to the crowd for participants to enjoy while getting powdered. The celebration is to honor Krishna, the birth of spring and a reminder to be happy and not get stifled with life’s problems.

Porlwi Festival

Mark your calendar for late fall (around November) for the Porlwi Festival in Port Louis. Thousands of art lovers attend to this one-of-a-kind festival to view art installments, listen to music and watch live entertainment. The purpose of this festival is to show there is life after sundown and its capital is a melting pot for Creole, Indians and Chinese residents to get together to celebrate their love of their island. This allows different cultures to learn about each other’s traditions and background, a new custom Mauritius is especially proud of.

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