Mauritius: holidays, events, customs
|January 1st/2||New Year|
|Mid-January to mid-February||Eid-Al-Fitr (end of Ramadam)|
|March 12||National holiday|
|March 18||Ougadi (Tamil New Year Festival)|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|September 14||Ganesh Chaturi (festival in honor of the elephant god Ganesh)|
|November 12||All Saints’ Day and the Feast of the Dead|
Source: Countryaah – Mauritius Holidays
|Late January/early February||Chinese Spring FestivalThaipoosam Cavadee, penitential festival in honor of the Hindu god Murugan|
|Mid-February/mid-March||Maha Shivaratree, three-day Hindu festival|
|March||Holi, Hindu festival of fire and colors|
|8/9 September||Jacques Desiree Laval, the anniversary of the death of the French doctor and missionary is being celebrated.|
|October November||Divali, Hindu festival to commemorate the victory of god Rama over the demon Ravana.|
Hiking and mountaineering are popular sports in Mauritius as there are many mountains on the island. There are also twelve golf courses here. There are also good opportunities to play tennis. However, the places mostly belong to hotel complexes. Riding horses are offered on many beaches for own and organized rides. Mauritius offers excellent opportunities for water sports fans. With the sailing boat and catamaran you can discover the island world very well. In addition, the underwater world of Mauritius is made for diving and snorkeling. Windsurfing and fishing are also available.
Regarding the clothing rules in Mauritius, it should be said that nudism is not permitted. Women who really want to sunbathe topless on the hotel’s own beach are not welcome, but tolerated. Nevertheless, one should not overwork one’s patience, because the Mauritians perceive such freedom of movement as bad behavior, especially since, in contrast, quite a few Mauritian women go into the water dressed (with street clothing). In the interior of the country it is sufficient to cover your knees, which also applies to men.
Homosexuality is prohibited by law in Mauritius. A violation is punished with up to five years imprisonment. In fairness it must be added, however, that the law is very rarely applied when the homosexual acts are mutually agreed. Nevertheless, one should always be on the lookout for this “moral article” 250 and completely refrain from homosexual acts in public.
Smoking and drinking
Since 2009 it has been forbidden in Mauritius to smoke or drink in public places. Anyone who smokes in restaurants, clubs, etc. can face a fine of € 250 or a prison term of up to 12 months.
Behavior in temples
You should not take photos in temples. Before entering temples, one should take off one’s shoes and headgear.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that MU stands for the nation of Mauritius as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Indian immigrants were housed in the Aapravasi Ghat Mauritius camp in Port Louis, it was a stopover for them to work off the debts made for their passage from other countries on sugar plantations. They replaced the slaves who were forbidden to keep by law.
Not much less than 500,000 people arrived there. Up to 70% of the population in Mauritius is made up of the descendants of Indian immigrants.
From the Aapravasi Ghat camp, the entrance gate and the infirmary, the wall of a residential hut and the remains of a bath and toilet house and the quay wall with a staircase that the immigrants had to climb can still be seen.
The Aapravasi Ghat was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006.
Le Morne cultural landscape
The mountain Le Morne Brabant has a height of 556 m on the peninsula of the same name in the southwest of Mauritius. This mountain became famous through the suicide of many slaves who fled there. When the police tried to tell them about their release from slavery, people believed they were being returned to slavery and fell from the mountain to their death.
The day of death of these people and at the same time the end of slavery is celebrated on February 1st as a public holiday in Mauritius. The mountain is privately owned, but can be visited as part of a guided tour.
The Le Morne cultural landscape was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.
Beau Bassin-Rose Hill
Mauritius’ second largest city currently has around 104,000 people who keep the city in the Plaines Wilhems district alive. The city has existed since 1877, was previously called Blondeauville and is the birthplace of the writer Loys Masson. Masson was born in 1915 in a town that attracted many businessmen and traders in the 18th and 19th centuries thanks to its sugar factory. Beau Bassin-Rose Hill is – as the name suggests – a twin town. It consists of Beau-Bassin and Rose Hill, founded in 1868.
79,000 people make Curepipe the fourth largest city on the island of Mauritius. The name is derived from the English cure pipe (dt. To clean pipes) because the European conquerors stopped in Curepipe to clean their pipes during their travels between Mahébourg and Port Louis. The extinct volcanic crater Trou aux Cerfs, in English deer hole, sits enthroned in the middle of Curepipe. Also worth seeing is the Mare from Vacoas, five kilometers away, the largest water reservoir on the island.
The largest and capital of Mauritius is Port Louis, a metropolis with 170,000 residents on the Indian Ocean. The economic and cultural heart of the island is very pretty and full of very interesting sights. These include the citadel with its good view over the roofs of the city, the UNESCO-protected Aapravasi Ghat, the Blue Penny Museum with an unstamped Blue Mauritius, the Minakshi Temple for the Tamil population and the Le Caudan Waterfront, one at the harbor shopping street, which can also be seen on the back of the 50 rupee banknote.
Quatre Bornes, also city of flowers, has almost 79,000 residents and is the fifth largest city in Mauritius. It is located on a plateau in the Plaines Wilhems district and about 15 km from Port Louis.
Vacos-Phoenix is a twin city that was created in 1963 through the merger of the two namesake towns. About 100,000 people live in the third largest Mauritian city, which spreads out so wonderfully on a plateau in the Plaines Wilhems district.
Dutch ruins in Viex Grand Port
In Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in Mauritius, you can visit the remains of the first Dutch fortification. Intensive excavation work is currently underway to bring this important part of history back to Mauritius.
Fort Adelaide or La Citadelle in Port Louis
Fort Adelaide is located in Port Louis and was built between 1834 and 1840 by the English who ruled the city at the time. From the fortification one has a fabulous view over the architectural beauty of the Mautitic capital.
Colonial villa Eureka in Moka
The colonial villa Eureka in Moka, also called La Maison Creole, was built in 1830 in the old Creole-French style. It is open to visitors every day.
Martello Towers in Port Louis
The Martello Towers represent the old rivalry between colonial power and the pursuit of independence. Therefore, they are a milestone in Mauritian history because they symbolize the end of slavery.
Town hall in Curepipe
The beautiful town hall of Curepipe was built in 1902. It was architecturally designed in the colonial style.
Government Palace in Port Louis
The Government Palace in Port Louis was built in 1740 and expanded in 1806. Today, however, parliament is meeting in the new building behind the palace.
State Bank Tower in Port Louis
This tall building in the capital Port Louis rises with its 16 floors into the sky and is currently the fourth largest building in the city. It was designed by Campbell Reith Hill. The State Bank Tower, badly damaged by a cyclone during construction in 1994, is 82 meters high and opened in 1995. It mainly contains office space.
Blue Penny Museum in Port Louis
The most important exhibits in the Blue Penny Museum in Port Louis are the blue and orange Mauritius, each worth around 600,000 euros. Most of the time, only the copies can be seen. The originals are only illuminated for 10 minutes at half an hour. The museum can be found on the premises of the Le Caudan Waterfront shopping center.
L’Aventure du Sucre in Beau Bassin-Rose Hill
The “Sugar Adventure” is an interactive, ultra-modern exhibition concept in the heart of the old sugar mill in Beau Bassin-Rose Hill. The interesting history of Mauritius and the sugar cane production in the country is presented.
Musee Naval in Mahébourg
The museum in Mahébourg shows historical and maritime objects.
Natural History Museum in Port Louis
The Museum in Port Louis has been showing objects from natural history since 1831.
Worldwide Mask Collection Museum
This museum houses ritual tribal masks, which are among the oldest cult objects in the world.
City Theater of Port Louis
The theater of Port Louis was built in neoclassical style in 1822 and is in very good condition despite its age. The theater seats 600 and is used for amateur theater performances and weddings.
Churches and pagodas
Chinese Thien Thane Pagoda in Port Louis
This Chinese pagoda in Port Louis is an octagonal place of worship with a three-tiered roof.
Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice at Cap Malheureux
Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice at Cap Malheureux is located at the northernmost end of Mauritius. The church has a bright red roof and a small free-standing bell tower.
Church of St. Theres d’Avila in Curepipe
The church with the three-aisled structure was built in Curepipe in 1868-72. The building is in the neo-Gothic style, but the entrance area is in the baroque style.
St. Louis Cathedral in Port Louis
The St. Louis Cathedral in Port Louis dates from 1932. Behind the cathedral is the bishop’s residence.
Mosques and temples
The Grand Bassin crater lake extends about 2 km east of Le Pétrin. The Hindus also refer to the lake as Ganga Talao (Lake of the Ganges). Outside of India, this is the largest pilgrimage site for the Hindus. On the occasion of the Maha Shivaratree festival in late February and early March, more than 400,000 Hindus go on a pilgrimage to the lake to make sacrifices to the deities.
There are numerous temples, small sacrificial shrines and statues of gods around the lake. In front of the main temple on the lakeshore there is a statue of Mother Ganga, the embodiment of the holy Ganges, as well as the monkey god Hanuman and the elephant god Ganesha. The depicted 34 m high statue of the main Hindu god Shiva can be found approx. 2 km from the lake.
Legend has it that the crater lake is connected to the Ganges in India. And that’s how it happened: Shiva and his wife Parvati once flew around the earth, because Shiva wanted to show her the most beautiful places on earth.
Shiva carried the river Ganges on his head during the journey. But when they wanted to land in Mauritius, Shiva accidentally spilled some of the water of the Ganges, which then flowed together in a crater hole and formed the Grand Bassin. A really nice story.
Jummah-Masjid in Port Louis
The Jummah-Masjid in Port Louis was built between 1855 and 1885 and is the oldest mosque in Mauritius. She underwent many structural extensions in the 1890s. It rises on the Royal Road and is often described as the most beautiful religious building in all of Mauritius. Every Friday the Friday prayer takes place in the Jummah Mosque, which is also broadcast on the radio.
Maheswarnath in Triolet Shivala
In Triolet Shivala, probably the longest village on Mauritius, you can visit the fascinating and largest Hindu temple on the island, the Maheswarnath. The building is an architectural child of the year 1819 and was dedicated to the gods Shiwa, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahmaof and Ganesha.
Residence of Hindu Gods in Triolet
The residence of Hindu gods in Triolet, called Maheswarnath Shiv Mandir, is a stately sanctuary dating from 1891. It is the largest of the 125 Hindu temples in Mauritius.
Black River National Park
The island’s national park extends over an area of at least 6,574 hectares. It has existed since 1994 and is committed to protecting the Mauritius forest. Adorable landscapes with native plants and rare bird species come across on the path that starts at the Pétrin information center.
The Cascade Chamarel waterfall is another tall waterfall in the country with a height of 127 m.
Ile aux Aigrettes
Thanks to the Mauritius Wildlife Fund, the island meets all international standards for the protection of natural resources and endangered animal species. Some of the rarest birds on earth can be seen there as well as the Aldabra Giant Tortoise and the Green Gecko Phelsuma.
Ile aux Cerfs
The island is a veritable paradise for water sports enthusiasts and has one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. This tiny island is a real pearl in the ocean, the east of which has long sandbar beaches and famous hotels such as The Coco Beach Hotel and the 5-star Le Touessrok.
Le Morne cultural landscape
The mountain Le Morne Brabant has a height of 556 m and is located on the peninsula of the same name in the southwest of Mauritius.
This mountain became famous through the suicide of many slaves who fled there.
La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes
Numerous species of birds and reptiles as well as wonderful plants are the residents of this national park, which extends to a large extent in a breathtaking rainforest valley. It is broken by fresh water springs full of fish. Also known as the Crocodile Park, the beauty is home to thousands of Nile crocodiles. Furthermore, the park is the only place in the world where Aldabra turtles breed.
Seven-colored earth near Chamarel
A rather windy road leads from the village of Case Noyale to the so-called seven-colored earth of Chamarel, a volcanic hilly landscape that shimmers in seven different colors. The colors are created when basalt lava is transformed into clay minerals. Admission is charged for viewing the beautiful natural spectacle.
The Tamarind Fall is the highest waterfall in the country and plunges 250 meters into the depth. The actually seven waterfalls are located in the southwest of the island and are not that easy to reach. But the way is worth it. It is possible to swim in the many pools.
This curiosity can be admired below the 556 m high Le Morne Brabant. You actually get the impression that there is a waterfall under the surface of the water. However, this is an optical illusion.
In fact, the local strong water currents of the Indian Ocean have such an effect that they wash the sand away from the coast and into lower regions of the ocean.
Fascinating to see!
The Yemen Reserve is not the largest nature reserve in Mauritius, but one of the most beautiful. Herds of antelopes and a great taste of the pretty Mauritian flora are well worth a visit.
Port-Louis Bazard The Port Louis
market sells a wide variety of local fruits and snacks, some of the cheapest in the city. Furthermore, carvings, baskets, films, fake computer programs and much more are offered. Restaurants are available for recreation.
Casela Nature and Leisure Park The Casela Nature and Leisure Park
extends over an area of 25 hectares in the Rivière Noire district. More than 140 species of birds from five continents as well as numerous species of monkeys, giant tortoises, zebras and tigers live in it. The park offers interesting highlights such as running with lions, visiting hanging bridges and a pet farm.
This shopping and leisure mile in Port Louis is one of the most popular places in the Mautitic capital. The many entertainment options include casinos, restaurants, shops, the five-star Le Labourdonnais Hotel and a marina.
The village of Flacq is one of the most important places in Mauritius, because it is the meeting point for the residents of the eastern region, who build the largest open-air market on the island there. The incredibly colorful market naturally also attracts huge numbers of visitors.
Grand Bay was Mauritius’ first area to really feel the tourist boom. A shopping and leisure time fun that is also sought out by the Mauritians when they want to celebrate a lively weekend. Restaurants, bars, discos and the pretty, recently renovated La Cuvette beach – what more could you want?
Port Louis Port
The port has the third largest sugar terminal in the world. Around 600,000 t of cane sugar are shipped from there all over the world every year.
Place d’Armes in Port Louis
In the heart of the city, where the State Bank Tower sits enthroned, the Place d’Armes stretches along. The beautiful square is very easy to recognize by its large palm trees and is the main entrance and exit to/from Port Louis.
Signaux Mountain in Port Louis
The residents of Port Louis often climb Signaux Mountain, the city’s local mountain. A 3 km long path leads over 300 meters up to the mountain. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the city’s landscape.
probably the longest village in Mauritius, offers the fascinating opportunity to visit the largest Hindu temple on the island, the Maheswarnath, a building from 1819.