When you think of a trip to Mauritius, you are likely to conjure up a dreamy montage of white beaches, tall palms and lazy days spent enjoying the simple pleasure of soft warm breeze on your skin.
Now don’t get me wrong, I deeply encourage your tropical getaway to mostly consist of immersing yourself in the glorious act of doing nothing, but an out-of-the-box experience could add a little sparkle to your trip!
There is a bright cultural mix of people in Mauritius, and the result of this is a fascinating calendar year of events. You may find yourself experiencing anything from colourful Hindu religious festivals to Chinese New Year parties filled with fireworks.
If you’re more into sports than celebrations, Mauritius is also home to some major international sporting events and competitions.
Take a look at the event highlights of 2017 below! Which one will you be working into your Mauritius getaway this year?
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Chinese Spring Festival / New Year – held in January/February according to the Chinese lunar calendar. The main events take place in China Town, Port Louis. This year it takes place on 28 January.
The festival and celebrations are held to mark the start of the New Year in China Expect food, fireworks, and lots of red!
Thaipoosam Cavadee - This Tamil Hindu festival sees devotees, many with pierced tongue or cheeks, bearing ornate cavadees to the temple.
Maha Shivaratree Festival – An annual event that is celebrated by devotees of Hindu. It usually involves a procession to Grand Bassin, a sacred lake, to pay tribute to Shiva, a Hindu God.
South Indian Ocean Billfish Competition - An annual competition where teams fish for four days.
Ougadi / Ugadi – 29 March 2017. A holiday marking the beginning of the Telegu New Year.
Indian Ocean Rowing Race - held between April and July, teams start in Western Australia and make their way across the Indian Ocean. The journey stretches over 4 825km and ends in beautiful Mauritius.
12th edition of Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau - From 25th to 2nd of April 2017 at Constance Belle Mare Plage.
Crossroads of Flavours - a culinary festival for all the food lovers! Expect demonstrations, tours of markets and orchards and, most importantly, eating Mauritian cuisine!
Duchess of York Cup – an exceptionally popular horse race that attracts thousands of racing enthusiasts. It is held at the Champ de Mars Racecourse in Port Louis.
Mauritius Marathon – We can imagine running a marathon on an idyllic tropical island makes the race a whole lot more inviting! The race starts in Tamarin and finishes at Saint Felix.
Barbé Cup - Another popular horse racing event held at the Champ de Mars Racecourse in Port Louis.
Mauritius Ocean Classic – This forms part of the Surf Ski World Series. The annual kayak race attracts sportsmen from around the world.
Kiteival – Watersport fanatics, this one is for you. The annual kite surf festival is held in different venues around Mauritius.
Ganesh Chaturthi – 25 August 2017. A Hindu fest staged to celebrate the birth of Ganesha, the God of wisdom.
Mauritius Ball Room Dancing Spectacular - Held at the Swami Vivekananda International Convention Centre in Pailles, dancers face-off in style for the top spot.
Divali - Held in October or November to commemorate the return of Rava. Hindu homes all over Mauritius are illuminated by clay oil lamps. The Constance Belle Mare Plage incorporates this event into their usual dinner affair – and do so beautifully! This year it falls on 19 October.
Opera Mauritius - Expect performances by international and local singers across the island.
Festival International Kréol - a sparkling celebration of creole culture, mixed with dancing, music concerts and literary readings.
Eid ul-Fitr (Eid al-Fitr) - 25 June 2017, a day of celebration amongst the Muslim community, marking the end of Ramadan.
Mauritius Golf Open - each year, players from all over the world come to compete in this popular golfing tournament.
What to read next on Traveller24:
- Gypsetting: Mauritius from a different perspective...
- Through Mauritian eyes: Exploring the island as a local