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About Mauritius

Geography:
 
Mauritius is situated in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2400 km off the South East Coast of Africa and lies on 20°S, 57.5°E. Mauritius is 45km wide and 65km long with a coastline of some 330km.
 
Climate:
 
The temperature on the coastal areas fluctuates between 21°C in the winter & 33°C in the summer. In the central part of the island, the temperature varies from 18°C to 27°C. The northern and western regions are drier and warmer than the East and the South. The sea temperature varies between 22°C and 27°C.
 
Government:
 
Mauritius is a democracy based on the Westminster model with a Prime Minister as head of the government and a President as head of state.
 
Economy:
 
The main pillars of the economy are: Sugar, Tourism, Textiles, Services, Global, Freeport, ICT. 
 
Currency:
 
The monetary unit is the Mauritian Rupee (Rs), consisting of 100 cents.  
 
Banking hours:
 
Monday to Thursday : 9.15 am - 3.15 pm,
Friday : 9.15 am - 4.30 pm,
Saturday & Sunday : Closed
Banking Service at the Airport : Banks are also open at the arrival and departure lounge.
 
Culture:
 
Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions which our immigrant population brought from their ancestral countries. Their festivities are celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony throughout the year.

Cavadee

This festival is celebrated in January/February. Bodies are pierced with needles, tongues and cheeks with pins, devotees in a trance carry the ‘Cavadi’ on their shoulders as a penitence. The ‘Cavadi’ is a wooden arch, covered with flowers and with a pot of milk at each end.
 
Divali
 
The Festival of Lights is celebrated in a spirit of pure joy, in the month of October or November. Small clay lamps line the walls, balconies and yards. They are lit at sunset. Their golden light, which is believed to guide the Goddess of wealth and good fortune, can be seen everywhere. Divali represents the victory of truth (light) over ignorance (darkness). The Festival of Lights, Divali, is a celebration of joy, happiness and for many Mauritians, a time for sharing.
 
Eid-Ul-Fitr

The Eid-Ul-Fitr festival signals the end of the Ramadan - the fasting period for the Muslims. Prayers are said in mosques all day long.
 
Pere Laval

Every September 9, Mauritians of all faiths walk or drive towards the tomb of the Blessed Jacques Désiré Laval, the «Apostle of the Black People» at Ste-Croix, Port-Louis. The belief in Père Laval, to whom powers of healing are attributed, reminds us of the Lourdes Pilgrimage in France.
 
Ganesh Chaturthi
 
Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated on the 4th day of the lunar month of August/September by Hindus in honour of the birth of Ganesha, God of wisdom.
 
Holi
 
This Hindu festival is as colourful as the many legends from which it originates. It is above all a festival of joy during which men and women throw coloured water and powder on each other and wish one another good luck.
 
Ougadi
 
Ougadi is the Telugu New Year and is usually celebrated in March.
 
Spring Festival
 
The Chinese New Year is celebrated each year on a different date, owing to the differences between the lunar and the solar calendars. Houses are thoroughly cleaned before the festival. No knife or scissors are used on the actual day of the festival. Red, a symbol of happiness is the main colour of the day. Food offerings are made to ensure that the following year will be plentiful and traditional ‘Wax’ cakes are distributed to parents and friends.Firecrackers are set off to drive away the evil spirits.
 
National Sega:
 
The sega, a dance invented by Mauritians of African origin, has become synonymous with «joie de vivre». This dance, is specific to Mauritius. The sega, mainly based on African music originating with slaves, is nowadays played with modern instruments and features contemporary musical influences. 
 
There are now several types of sega in Mauritius. Standard sega (where the instruments are the ravanne, the maravanne and the triangle) has its own disciples and devotees.This type of sega is tough, sensual  and authentic.
 
Young people and hotel entertainers now favour a more modern version of sega, which is no less attractive.
 
Big Game Fishing:
 
Mauritius is also known to be a paradise for deep sea fishing. Species include the blue or black marlin, all types of sharks, yellow tuna, the Bonitos, the ‘emperor’, the ‘pélerin’, the ‘bécune’ or the barracuda. Huge fishes like the Blue Marlin roam our seas and hunt around the island. The ocean is 70 metres deep one kilometre off the coastline.
 
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