Independence and Republic Day
When is it? Mauritius Independence and Republic Day is celebrated on 12 March!
Our beautiful island nation gained its independence in 1968 and has celebrated the day as a public holiday every year since. The day is a public holiday, a day to celebrate everything that we love about our home. If you’re in Mauritius in the days leading up to Independence and Republic Day, you’ll be sure to spot our colourful flag displayed all over the island. We feel great pride in our independence and we’re not afraid to shout about it!
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? Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday celebrated at the end of Ramadan. As it’s based on the Islamic calendar, the date varies each year.
Family, friends and neighbours greet each other with “Eid Mubarak!” on Eid al-Fitr. It’s the Islamic holiday that comes after Ramadan, the month of prayers and fasting. After breaking the fast together, people traditionally visit the mosque to pray, wear new clothes and donate to the needy.
When is it? Ganesh Chaturthi is a public holiday that usually falls in August or September.
Held in honour of Lord Ganesh, the Hindu god recognised for his elephant head, Ganesh Chaturthi is one of Mauritius’ most celebrated days. Look out at riverbanks and beaches for the procession of people carrying clay statues of Lord Ganesh to immerse him in the water.
When is it? Diwali is a public holiday celebrated in October or November, depending on the Hindu calendar which depends on the moon.
Since Hinduism is the biggest religion in Mauritius, it’s not surprising that the ‘festival of lights’ is a big celebration on the island. Islanders traditionally spend Diwali decorating their homes with lights, preparing traditional sweets and drawing colourful rangolis (intricate patterns often made on the floor).