Ugadi (Gudi Padwa)
When is it? Ugali (Gudi Padwa) is a public holiday celebrated at new year according to the lunisolar calendar. The date usually falls in March or April.
Ugadi or Gudi Padwa is a celebration of new beginnings, a time for traditions like cleaning the house before the day and visiting temples on the day itself. If you’re in Mauritius for Ugadi or Gudi Padwa, you might get to taste traditional festival flavours including neem flavours, mango and tamarind.
When is it? Maha Shivaratri is a public holiday celebrated on the thirteenth night and fourteenth day of the eleventh Hindu month, which is usually between February and March.
Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. In Mauritius, people traditionally celebrate Maha Shivaratri by travelling from all around the island by foot to a sacred lake known as Grand Bassin, or Ganga Talao. Once there, pilgrims can make offerings to the Hindu shrines there, which includes a 33-metre-high statue of Lord Shiva.
Holi, the ‘Festival of Colours’
When is it? Holi is celebrated around the full moon in March, which marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It’s not a public holiday in Mauritius but that doesn’t stop everyone joining in the colourful celebrations!
Colourful paint flying through the air, singing, dancing and sweet pastries stuffed with dried fruit and nuts. Holi, known as the festival of colours, paints the streets with all the colours of the rainbow!