Celebrating Diwali in Mauritius
“A row of lamps” is the literal translation of Diwali from Sanskrit, which explains why one of the festival’s most popular traditions is to light tiny oil lamps and place them in twinkling rows around and in front of the house. Marking the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness, this ‘festival of light’ is commemorated with great fervour in Mauritius, and is celebrated with family gatherings, gift-giving, and food traditions.
Before Diwali, families clean and elaborately decorate their houses and businesses to honour Lakshami, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Special inward-pointing footprints, known as Shripada, are placed on the threshold of the house to welcome her. Traditionally, these can be made from rice flour or another kind of powder, but many people use a simple drawing or print, or have evergreen versions carved from terracotta or stone, emblazoned with jewels and crystals.
Other traditions include Rangoli; a type of Indian folk art formed of intricate patterns and generally created on the floor, around which sit more flickering lights. When family and friends get together, they give and share mithai and other gifts, and offer prayers to Lord Ganesha and the goddess Lakshami. The festival often culminates in a fabulous firework display, illuminating the night sky with multicoloured flashes of light.
The hotels in Mauritius had some incredibly colourful displays indoors and outdoors to celebrate Diwali. Attitude Hotels put on painting workshops for its younger guests and provided traditional clothing for all the family to wear while visiting the surrounding neighbourhoods to view beautiful light displays. Heritage Resorts got guests and employees involved in making colourful Rangoli patterns and Sun Resorts Hotel Group put on a delicious feast, finished off with traditional Indian sweets.
Read more about festivals in Mauritius, and book your next holiday to our island home with Air Mauritius Holidays. You can also follow Air Mauritius on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news.