January - Chinese Spring Festival
The Chinese community celebrates the Chinese Spring Festival, or New Year, in January or early February. The festival is celebrated with abundant use of the colour red, elaborate feasts of Chinese food and setting off firecrackers and fireworks.
February/March - Hindu Festivals
Various major Hindu festivals are celebrated between February and March. The Thaipoosam Cavadee is celebrated by the local Tamil community and is famous thanks to devotees’ feats of endurance, such as fire-walking and face-piercing.
Second is the Maha Shivaratree, which is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and features a colourful procession to the Grand Bassin Lake. During the Ugadi festival, the local Telugu people usher in their new year. This tends to be a family affair, although there will be a festive air among the Telugu community at this time.
April - Indian Ocean Rowing Race
One of the world’s most gruelling ocean endurance races reaches its conclusion in Mauritius. Starting in Australia two months earlier, teams complete the almost 5,000 kilometre journey to Mauritius by rowboat.
Duchess of York Cup
Horseracing is considered by some to be the national sport of Mauritius. Every year in May, the Champ de Mars Racecourse is filled to the rafters as Mauritians gather to watch one of the country’s most prestigious horse races, the Duchess of York Cup.
Crossroad of Flavours
If you’re keen on sampling the full spectrum of Mauritian cuisine, don’t miss the Crossroad of Flavours – the biggest annual food festival in Mauritius. Hosted by the Naiade Resorts hotel chain, the event attracts top chefs from around the world, who add their individual touches to the eclectic Mauritian cuisine.
June - Mauritius Marathon
The cooler months of June are the ideal time to take part in the national marathon. Runners from around the world converge on Mauritius to take on the 42-kilometre course, which follows a stunning route along the west coast from Petite Sud Ouest to Petite Riviere Noire.
July - Barbe Cup
Champ de Mars Racecourse comes alive once again as it hosts another of the major annual horseraces in Mauritius, the Barbe Cup.
August - Ganesha Chaturathi
The month of August sees the Hindu community gather to celebrate the birthday of Ganesha, the god of wisdom. This festival features many public celebrations, with statues of the gods set up and decorated in public places, as well as street theatre and singing.
September - Father Laval Day
Jacques Désiré Laval is a beloved figure of Mauritian history – a cleric whose efforts to help and protect slaves are commemorated to this day. Every year on the 9th of September, thousands of Mauritians join a procession to Father Laval’s shrine at the Sainte Croix Church in Port Louis.
October – Diwali
October sees the Hindu community celebrate its most festive holiday. The island’s nights are illuminated by thousands of oil lamps and fireworks displays, as the island’s Hindus celebrate the victory of light over darkness.
November – Festival International Kreol
If you want to experience all that creole culture has to offer, don’t miss this festival, which is sponsored by the Mauritian government. The festival includes multiple events hosted in public spaces in and around Port Louis and draws large crowds of revellers.
December - Mauritius Golf Open
In December, the Mauritius Golf Open gives visitors the opportunity to watch the pros in action at the Belle Mare Plage Resort. The Open runs over a week and includes several events set against the scenic backdrop of the Mauritian east coast.