Honour the 50th Mauritian Independence Anniversary at La Pirogue
March 09 2018
March 09 2018
Unbeknownst to many, the coveted holiday destination of Mauritius, with its absolutely breathtaking natural surrounds and vibrant, bustling cities, has an intricate past which helped to mould the island paradise into the eclectic country it is today. The history of Mauritius is full of stories of woe and wonder, of pirates, European settlers and colonists, slavery, freedom and independence.
The independence from Britain was granted to the Mauritian people on the 12th of March 1968—an occasion that is marked and celebrated each year in an extraordinary fashion, and this year promises to be particularly special on the 12th of March, as Mauritius will be celebrating their 50th anniversary of independence.
The road to independence was a long one for the Mauritian people. While Mauritius was said to have been discovered in the middle ages, it was uninhabited until the 16th century, when the Dutch settlers claimed Mauritius as their own and named it after Prince Maurice of Nassau. Over the centuries Mauritius was then colonised by the Dutch, French and British during which labourers and slaves were brought from India, China and Africa to work on the sugar plantations and on the farms. The beautiful result of this chequered past is reflected in Mauritius’ remarkable multicultural heritage, incredible array of languages, food, religions as well as diverse traditions and customs, which is what makes this destination so unique.
On the 12th of March 1968, Mauritius won their independence and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became the nation’s first prime minister. Again on the 12th of March (but this time 24 years later in 1992), Mauritius was declared a republic in the British Commonwealth, with the prime minister garnering more political power than he was ever afforded before. Naturally, the 12th of March is an incredibly important day for all Mauritians who celebrate in fantastic ways (a sight definitely worth travelling to the island to see). The centre of activity on the 12th of March is sure to be Port Louis, but this auspicious day will be celebrated throughout the island.
Mauritians go all out on their Independence Day with the colourful Mauritian flags displayed wherever possible, children get their faces painted, special events and themed menus are offered, and local music and dance (particularly Sega) act as the focal point of many celebrations, where locals and tourists embrace this day and celebrate side-by-side.
If heading to the bustling, and slightly chaotic, capital city, Port Louis, doesn’t appeal to you, but you would still like to enjoy this fantastic occasion in style, then one of the best places to head is certainly the gorgeous four-star La Pirogue.
If festivities situated among lush tropical gardens and alongside charming, boho-chic Mauritian-inspired accommodation sounds like the perfect way to celebrate the Mauritian Independence anniversary, this is what will be in store for you at La Pirogue on the 12th of March 2018:
The flag raising ceremony
One of the most pivotal things that will happen on the Mauritian Independence anniversary is the raising of the flag—the event that truly kicks off the festivities of this auspicious day in Mauritius. This will take place at Tides at 10:30 and will include a short speech about the history of Mauritius which is usually followed by the singing of the national anthem. This moment is truly special and well worth being a part of.
Typical Mauritian activities
The celebration of the 50th Mauritian Independence anniversary centres on everything that makes Mauritius the unique, eclectic, colourful nation it is and La Pirogue invites guests to better understand this tropical paradise through a host of typical Mauritian activities that will take place throughout the day. There will be a game of ‘carom’ (which is a much-loved board game in Mauritius that is, in many ways, similar to pool) and an insightful Creole lesson will be offered to help guests with some of the basics of the local language.
But the wonderful Mauritian activities don’t end there; there will also be a kite making class in celebration of the Independence Day, guests can participate in Henna tattoo demonstrations and make their own Rangoli (this is an intricate and absolutely stunning type of art that originates from India and is characterised by stunning patterns which are traditionally created on the floor of communal areas such as living rooms, with rice that has been dyed, flour, flowers and colourful sand). If you are at La Pirogue on the 12th of March, try your hand at one of these unusual traditional activities (you may even find yourself a new favourite hobby!).
While the live entertainment at La Pirogue is always phenomenal, thanks to the Mauritian Independence anniversary, this year on the 12th of March, the hotel will really be pulling out all the stops. Guests can look forward to decor that includes lots of Mauritian flags and Rangoli as well as an exciting display of vivid colour and music with a phenomenal Chinese Lion Dance and music from three sensational local bands that go by the names Nu La, Mozar and Sagaphataal (which play incredible Indian fusion music). There will also be a traditional Sega performance during the Management Cocktail which is sure to delight and surprise guests. These stunning local performances shouldn't be missed this 12th of March!
Sensational Mauritian fare
One of the best parts about heading to Mauritius for the holiday of a lifetime is the sensational local food scene. The food—as with the island’s culture, traditions and religions—has been greatly influenced by a mix of heritages and shows clear elements of European, Indian, Chinese and African cuisines, which makes it an outstanding gourmet destination. La Pirogue is known to champion all things Mauritian, and the food that will be served up on the 12th is sure to be the very best of the local cuisine.
The glorious local offerings will begin at breakfast, where a sumptuous Mauritian buffet will be on offer, with Mauritian teas, special traditional sweets and pastries served in abundance to the sounds of the local radio station playing the best in Mauritian music. The lunch offering will also be wonderfully unique and created for guests to be able to make the most of the beautiful surrounds and local cuisine. There will be a Le Morne Beach Bar Brunch and an à la carte brunch on offer, accompanied by a DJ to add that element of ambience and festivity to the brunches either of which is sure to be spectacular.
The Management Cocktail will take place on the beach with wonderful tropical cocktails on offer and mixology stations accompanied by the local tunes from Nu La and an unmissable Mega Sega show which will take place on the beach bar deck. The highlight at dinner is sure to be the Mauritian buffet which will include a fish market, Chinese ‘boutique’ as well as a Maharaja and African section—beautifully capturing some of the island’s fantastic flavour inspirations.
If this sounds like a fabulous way to celebrate Monday the 12th of March and the Mauritian Independence anniversary, then book your stay at La Pirogue (if you haven’t already!). One thing is for sure, you are bound to remember your time celebrating the Mauritian Independence Day forever.