New Year’s Eve Mauritius
Traditional New Year celebrations in Mauritius start on New Year’s Eve, the thirty-first of December and, in as much, echo traditional celebrations of the Gregorian calendar the world over. If, when you think of Mauritius, you generally imagine an exotic destination, balmy summer evenings, bright, vibrant colours and music which enters your very soul and, if this is how you imagine the New Year’s celebrations in Mauritius, you are not far wrong.
With dancing and singing all night on the beach of Port Louis, fireworks in the streets and an eclectic mix of pop, reggae and the local sega music, the New Year is welcomed in style. Furthermore, as both the first and second of January are public holidays in Mauritius, the festive mood is long lived with locals and tourists alike flocking to the beaches to celebrate the start of another year.
The only blight that may be cast on the festivities is the weather. As January is the peak of the cyclone season in Mauritius, strong winds, rain and thunderstorms can often try to join in the celebrations. As much as these atmospheric interlopers may dampen the bodies of those fortunate enough to be welcoming in the New Year on the island, they cannot dampen the festive spirits.
In addition to the celebrations surrounding the New Year in the western calendar the Chinese New Year is also widely celebrated. Also known as the Spring Festival, this is dictated by the lunar calendar and therefore never falls on the same date. As part of the rituals surrounding the festival, houses are cleaned in preparation, knives and scissors are prohibited on the day and red becomes the colour of the day. Food offerings are made to assorted deities and fireworks are set off in profusion. Generally, the Chinese New Year falls either in January or February of the western calendar.
What could be more enticing than a holiday in Mauritius over the New Year celebrations, to spend the time in a warm climate with your loved ones? The hotels on the island generally prefer long stay bookings at this time as the first two weeks of January are considered the absolute peak of the peak period. Hotels are not the only option for accommodation, though, and there are a variety of villas, apartments and bed and breakfasts providing luxurious and spacious alternatives with direct access onto the beach, private barbecues and breathtaking pyrotechnic displays on New Year’s Eve.
During the New Year period most hotels offer special activities in the evenings which are open to residents and non-residents alike. At a certain cost, guests not staying in the hotels can have a meal from the buffet and attend a concert or sega dance performance. If you decide, therefore, that the charms of a luxury villa or cosy bed and breakfast are more in line with your desires for a Mauritian holiday, the option of joining in with specifically organised festivities at the closest hotel remains open to you.
When planning a New Year’s holiday in Mauritius it is advisable to book early and also to be aware that many places have restrictions of a minimum seven night stay during this time. For spirited festivities, indiscriminate bonhomie, not to mention some of the most beautiful landscape on earth, look no further than this small, tropical island.