February 09, 2018

Cultural Diversity of Mauritius

The Chinese New Year marks the beginning of a new lunar according to the traditional Chinese calendar. Each year is represented by a zodiac animal on the lunar-solar Chinese calendar and the Chinese community welcome 2018 as the Year of the Dog.

The Spring Festival is a time to gather with family and hope for good fortune in the upcoming year. As part of the celebrations, firecrackers are set off according to tradition to drive away the evil spirits. Families get together and celebrate the New Year with an abundance of food.

The dominant color during this festival is the red which is the symbol of happiness. The main celebrations are held on that day in Port Louis (Capital of Mauritius) in China Town with Chinese Dragons, lion dances and fireworks. Red envelop called « Fung Pao » will be given as an offering to elders and children and the traditional wax cake is distributed to relatives and friends.

To our Chinese clients and business partners, we wish you and your close ones 'Xīn Nián Kuài Lè'.

Maha Shivaratree

Maha Shivaratree is a hindu festival held in devotion of Lord Shiva.

Weeks earlier devotees of Lord Shiva start crafting bamboo structures known as “kanwars”. During that period, they observe a strict vegetarian diet.

Normally one week earlier, devotees converge by thousands, with great zeal and reverence to Ganga Talao – the Sacred Lake, carrying their colourful kanwars. Most of them make their journey by foot to the Sacred Lake.

Devotees offer prayers and collect sacred water from the lake in order to pour on Shiva lingams, a symbolic representation of deity Shiva.In all temples around the island, there are four rounds of prayer (Char Pahar ki Puja), each lasting for three hours. During each round, Shiva lingams are given a solemn bath known as the Shiv Abhishek, with milk, honey, rose water, curd, clarified butter and sandalwood paste. Holy water is then poured on the Shiva Lingams along with the offerings of fruits, incense sticks, flowers and “bel patra”.  The Char Pahar ki Puja culminates Maha Shivaratree.

We wish all devotees a pious Maha Shivaratree.