The Divali is celebrated by the Hindus. It marks the victory of good Rama over evil Ravana in the epic Indian poem. During this night as from six o’clock all Hindus and many Mauritians decorate their homes with small oil lamps, candles, clay lamps or electric bulbs. Nowadays also a lot of houses are decorated with electrical lights chains and also some of the main streets are lighted with special light decorations. This is why this festival is also known as the festival of lights. Cakes are cooked and shared among families and neighbors on that day.
How can tourists participate in the Diwali festivities?
Diwali is a great opportunity to discover the richness and diversity of Mauritian culture, so while your hotel may have their own celebrations planned, here are four other things you can do on Diwali to take part in the Diwali celebrations in Mauritius:
• Walk or drive through the villages and towns to see the beautifully decorated and illuminated houses: The most popular village to visit on the night of Diwali is Triolet, located in the North of the island. It is well known for its elaborate decorations and fireworks. Make sure you anticipate being stuck in traffic, it’s that popular!
• Feast on the traditional Diwali sweets: Mauritians are warm people who love to share, and it is very common for them to share their homemade sweets with tourists too. If you didn’t get a chance to befriend a Mauritian yet, don’t despair, you can buy these sweets in stores too! Make sure to ask for the gateau patate, the most popular treat, made with sweet potatoes and coconut; your sweet tooth will relish this moment.
• Light firecrackers: Head to your nearest supermarket or corner store and stock up on firecrackers and fireworks and spend a memorable evening lighting them up with everyone else. Our favourite activity is going to the beach to light them up. We’d like to remind everyone to be careful when lighting firecrackers to avoid any incidents.
• Visit a temple: Many temples have special prayers on this occasion, so it’s a great cultural experience to participate in them. Please make sure to wear appropriate clothing when entering temples.