Religious Festivals of Mauritius

The location of Mauritius at the crossroads of trade routes linking Asia, Africa and the Middle  East has led to a mixture of cultures blending Hindu , African and Islamic beliefs.

Divali – 1st& 4thNovember: 

Divali is one of the most important festivals of the Hindu year.  Candles and lights are litall over the island to celebrate the return of the hero of the Ramayana, Rama, from his 14 years of exile.  Besides celebrating the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, the lights also symbolise the beginning of summer.  After morning prayers, cakes are distributed amongst families, friends and neighbours of all faiths.  

Ramadan :The Eid-Ul-Fitrfeast day and celebrations mark the end of Ramadan and fasting.  The festival takes place on the 29th night of Ramadan.  A group of religious people gather at different points of the island (hilltop, seashore, etc.) to search for the first sight of the new moon.

If they do not see the moon then the fast continues, if the moon appears the fast ends and the government declares the next day Eid-ul-Fitr.  Sirens blare from the top of every mosque declaring the holiday. There are prayers at mosques all over the island.  Food and sweets are shared amongst family, friends and neighbours, and the poor.

Teemeedee, or fire walking, is a Tamil and Hindu festival where worshippers walk over red-hot embers and sharp swords to the accompaniment of chants, apparently suffering no harm.  This event takes part in various towns around the island, mostly between December and January but also at other times of the year, Sword walking is another penance related festival.

Destination – Indian Ocean Islands