A very nice family activity in Mauritius: Divali in a village
November is the month in which Diwali (Divali), the festival of light, is celebrated, symbolising the victory of Good over Evil. It is one of the main holidays of Mauritius, bringing together the different communities of various religions. We have chosen for this family activity that everyone loves, the small village of Tamarin where traditionally, as in all corners of Mauritius, locals and tourists come to admire the small traditional oil lamps or the more technological lighting of the houses of our compatriots of Hindu faith that offer sweets and cakes toevery passer-by. Anne-Sophie and Pierre, our friends on holiday in Mauritius, are amazed by thiswarm welcome.
A thousand-year-old tradition
In Mauritius, Hindus celebrate Diwali (Divali) in the hope of a whole new commencement by removing the negative aspects of their lives. This national holiday is also known as the “Festival of Lights”.
In English the word Sanskrit Diwali means “a row of lamps”, which explains the Hindu tradition of lighting small oil lamps which are placed all around their houses. Symbolically, the lamps represent the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and hope over despair.
The common prayers begin at the sun rise, after having ensured that the house has been thoroughly cleaned.
Our Diwali (Divali) in Tamarin
To start with, we stopped at Babou’s houseto eat delicious traditional cakes: balfi, ladoo, gatopatate….
Then we travelled to Malini’s house. Together with her nieces, they had taken two full hours to cook mandalas (cakes made of dyed rice) on the cobblestones of her garden. As a result, she confessed:
« For Divali, we have to turn on our lights at 6pm but we are late because we had to finish baking the cakes first. »
It is so beautiful to experience Mauritian folklore in the streets, Indian women nicely dressed in their most beautiful sari, non-Hindus wandering in the streets, children bursting firecrackers, the whole in a relaxed atmosphere.
Gueeta had beautifully displayed small lanterns in her garden. There was also a statue of the God who watched over the house.
Finally, we visited another family who gave us a short brief about the god Hanuman, god of power and intelligence, and the god Lutchmi, god of prosperity and money. There were offerings on the ground and mandalas at the foot of the statue. They gave the children small fireworks for fun, and other Indian food to share with the family.
The Divali festival is also an opportunity for sharing the Indian culture, the Indian food, the Indian devotion and warmth. Laurent will be delighted to accompany you for a guided discovery of Divali in the different villages of Mauritius! See you soon