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Travel & Tourism . Tourist Guide to the Country

Mauritius Festivals and Events



January - February, 2000
The Cavadee festival is celebrated in January/February. It is one of the most impressive tamil festival. The body pierced with needles, the tongue and the cheeks pierced by pins, the back with hooks often with citrons attached or tiny mugs of purification milk, the devotees in trance and in penitence, walk while carrying the Cavadee, an arc of wood, metal or plastic symbolizing the sacred mountains, covered with flowers with at the base at each end a pot of milk. The arc is laid down in the temple at the feet of the statue of a divinity. In spite of the long walk under the hot sun, the milk should not go bad.

The Thaipoosam or Cavadee is a ceremony about the purification from evil. Its origin is from the south of India and is found very far in the history of Hinduism. (Public Holiday).


The Sega originated from African music since the period of slavery. The sega is performed in a way to reflect the contemporary influence with the introduction of instruments for percussion. The rubbing of the feet, the swinging of the hips, the texts in creole are integral part of the music. Local representations are numerous specially on Saturday nights. The Bobre, an musical arc of African origin that is used to accompany the creole melody. The musical instruments used in Mauritius are the ravane, a kind of big tambourine that gives to the sega its tam-tam rhythm and the 'plomb', another musical arc played to accompany the creole songs.


Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadhan)
20th January, 2000
Ramadhan, the ninth month of the lunar year, is the Muslim holy month of fasting. The end of Ramadhan is celebrated on Eid al-Fitr. Prayers are offered at mosques during the day.


February - March
Holi is a Hindu festival of colours. This festival is as colourful as the numerous legends that inspired it. This is the time for rejoicing where men and women enjoy themselves by squirting coloured water and powder on one another. Anyone who happened to be in the path of these exuberant celebrants will also get cupfuls of coloured powder and water thrown on them.


Thaipoosam Cavadee

14th February, 2000

This festival is celebrated by all Hindus at temples throughout the island. Crowded streets are filled with devotees carrying flower-covered wooden arches and pots of milk in processions. Some devotees take this opportunity to fulfil their vows by skewering their tongues and cheeks in homage to the second son of Lord Shiva.


Chinese Spring Festival
16th -18th February, 2000
Also known as Chinese New Year, this festival is is preceded by a thorough spring-cleaning of the home. No scissors or knives are used on the day. Families get together and celebrate the new year with an abundance of food and red packets containing money ("ang pows") are given as a symbol of good luck. It is celebrated with the standard barrage of fireworks to ward off evil spirits.


Maha Shivaratree
25th February, 2000
Maha Shivaratree is the largest and most important Hindu festival outside of India. It is celebrated in honour of Lord Siva. Most of the island's Hindu devotees, clad in spotless white, make a pilgrimage to the holy volcanic lake Grand Bassin while carrying the "kanwar", wooden arches covered with flowers. Once there, they make food sacrifices and fetch holy water from the lake. The whole scene is reminiscent of the great rituals on the banks of the Holy Ganges in India.


'Bienheureux' Jacques Desire Laval
Port Louis, 9th September, 2000
Each year on the 9th september, mauritians of all ethnic groups proceed to the tomb of Father Laval in Sainte Croix, Port Louis. Jacques Désiré Laval was born in 1803 and came to Mauritius in 1841 and was beautified in Rome the 29th april 1979. Powers for miraculous healing are attributed to him. He was called the apostle of the blacks.


All Saints Day
Mauritius, 2nd November, 2000
The day following the all saints day, the 2nd november, tribute is given to all the deads. Christian festival where people go to mass before going to leave flowers on the tombs. For the mauritians, it is a proof that there is a certain form of life after dead.


Acknowledgements: ASIATRAVELMART.COM

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