Mauritius Independence Day is celebrated every year on March 12 in Mauritius. This day celebrates the island country of Mauritius and its people, culture, and traditions on the anniversary of the day that Mauritius became an independent state within the Commonwealth.
Mauritius is a country in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, and comprises four different islands, of which the main island is the one known as Mauritius. Mauritius was a colony of Great Britain before it gained independence as an independent nation in the Commonwealth. The country is considered part of the African continent, located along the Southeast coast of Africa, east of Madagascar.
History of Mauritius Independence Day
Mauritius Independence Day is celebrated every year on March 12 in Mauritius. This day is a public holiday across the island country of Mauritius when the people celebrate the anniversary of Mauritius becoming an independent state under the Commonwealth.
Mauritius is officially known as the Republic of Mauritius and comprises four different islands — Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega, and St. Brandon. The main island is Mauritius, and Port Louis, the capital city, is located on the main island. The capital city is also the most populous city in this island country.
Mauritius was first occupied by the Portuguese; however, the Portuguese were not happy to live on the islands and soon abandoned them. Then the islands were occupied by the Dutch people, who established settlements on them. However, the settlements weren’t profitable, and the Dutch soon abandoned the islands.
After the Dutch, the French occupied the islands of Mauritius and brought enslaved people from Africa and India to work on the plantations established on the islands. Later, during the Napoleonic Wars, the British captured the islands, converting Mauritius into a plantation colony under the British Empire.
Slavery was eventually abolished, but the British government brought indentured servants from around the world to the islands to serve as labor on the plantations. After the World Wars, the people of Mauritius were accorded universal suffrage. Over time, tensions grew on the island, and Britain acknowledged the importance of giving up its former colonies. Mauritius adopted a new constitution with a newly elected Prime Minister, while the English monarch remained the head of state.
Mauritius Independence Day timeline
Portuguese sailors arrive and occupy the islands of Mauritius and establish a visiting base.
France takes control of Mauritius, renames it Isle de France, and develops a sugar economy on the islands.
The French surrender Mauritius to the British, and the island regains its original name.
As part of Great Britain’s efforts to decolonize, Mauritius adopts a new constitution and elects a new Prime Minister for its newly independent government.
Mauritius Independence Day FAQs
Is Mauritius safe to live in?
Mauritius is a safe and secure country as it is one of the most peaceful countries on the African continent.
What is the language of Mauritius?
English is the primary language spoken in Mauritius.
When did slavery end in Mauritius?
Slavery was abolished in 1833 in Mauritius.
Mauritius Independence Day Activities
Watch the celebrations
Across Mauritius, Independence Day is celebrated with songs, parties, official speeches, and parades. Watch the celebrations and join the festivities with the Mauritian people on this day.
Learn about Mauritius
There’s no better day to learn about Mauritian culture and diversity than its Independence Day. Look up Mauritian cultural practices, from music to religion, to educate yourself.
Participate in local celebrations
Find Mauritian people near you and get everyone together to celebrate the day locally. Cook Mauritian food, play traditional music, and enjoy yourself.
5 Facts About Mauritius That Will Surprise You
It was home to the dodo
Mauritius is known for its natural diversity and was the only known home to the extinct dodo bird.
It’s the most peaceful African country
According to the Global Peace Index, Mauritius is the most peaceful African country as of 2019.
Hinduism is the most practiced religion
Mauritius is highly diverse in faith and religious practices and is the only African country where Hinduism is the most practiced religion.
It is a welfare state
The government of Mauritius provides its citizens with universal healthcare, free education, and free public transportation.
Soccer is the most popular sport
The national soccer team of Mauritius is known as The Dodos.
Why We Love Mauritius Independence Day
We want to celebrate independence
We believe in decolonization and want to celebrate all countries achieving their independence from colonial powers. We think it’s fantastic that Mauritius is now an independent country.
We love Mauritian culture
Mauritius is ethnically diverse and the diversity has influenced the culture in many ways. We love to see the fusion of cultures from around the world in one country.
We love the celebrations
We think that the Mauritians know how to throw the best celebrations. We love the music and parades, and speeches and want to be a part of it.
Mauritius Independence Day dates