Anthony Bianco

Fireworks on New Years Eve – Mauritius Style!

Fireworks on New Years Eve – The Mauritian New Year Welcome

With New Year’s Eve coming up, I’ve got a guest post from Mauritius Holiday Tips about the crazy tradition of locals setting off millions of Fireworks on New Years Eve – from anywhere!

That’s right, imagine every backyard in the country being a launch pad for New Year’s Eve Fireworks. Sounds insane, but a lot of fun!

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Fireworks on New Year’s Eve – The Mauritian Way!

Fireworks are often used in celebrations. Guy Fawkes’ night in England sees perhaps the most widespread use of fireworks due to the origin of the story.  All Chinese communities across the world welcome their Chinese New Year with loud fireworks. The western world has also adopted this habit with impressive and expensive displays of colourful fireworks at the stroke of midnight on the first of January, from London to Sydney, from New York to Paris and in all major cities of the world.

On the tiny island of Mauritius, fireworks to welcome the New Year is no exception and has been a tradition for many many years, a tradition probably borrowed from the local Chinese Mauritians who welcome their New Year in exactly the same way. And this tradition of New Year fireworks has existed long before London and Sydney came up with their own. But while the local Mauritian Chinese New Year sees sporadic lighting of fireworks in pockets here and there where Chinese communities exist, the Gregorian New Year is welcomed by all Mauritians and leads to a more impressive display. A display that is on par with the extravagant ones of the western world but at a much lower cost…

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Photo from flickr – OmarC

The tradition is to welcome the New Year with loud fireworks to chase away the bad spirits of the ending year and start afresh. Every family takes part in this as who wants bad spirits to linger around for yet another year? So come a few minutes before midnight, every household is out in the garden with their fireworks ready.

And at the stroke of midnight, and for the next hour or so, all fireworks are lit. The extent of all these fireworks going off at the same time in smoke across the whole island is not quickly grasped. Each family is concerned only with what is going on in their own garden. You will definitely see all your neighbours outside too, doing the same thing, but no further than down your road.

To get a glimpse of what is happening, a good location would be on higher ground, for example at the foot of a mountain overlooking a town. Or in the village of Réduit, looking towards the town of Rose-Hill and Quatre-Bornes. From there, at midnight, you will hear a rumble of thunder from far away and after a while, you will see in the dark of the night, but with the help of yellow sodium street lights, a great cloud of smoke rising over the urban sprawl.

No extravagant displays like the West but the combination of every household out on the street or garden, lighting their own fireworks turns the whole island, or at least residential areas, into a noisy, smoky yet friendly atmosphere as all neighbours for once, come outside at the same time and greet each other.

The next day, all that remains are colourful paper wrapping of the fireworks that should not be swept away, for after chasing away the bad spirits, they now bring good luck to each household.

If you want to find out more about Mauritius, visit this travel guide to Mauritius or share your own story on Great Travels.

More Fireworks On New Year’s Eve Stuff

If you’re right into Fireworks Into New Year’s Eve, check out A Professional’s GuideTo Pyrotechnics: Understanding And Making Exploding Fireworks. Or maybe buy a Jumbo Novelty Fireworks Assortment.

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About Anthony The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out ways to say hi below or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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4 Responses to Fireworks on New Years Eve – Mauritius Style!

  1. Travel Destinations of India says:

    Nice Post about Fireworks on New Years Eve in Mauritius. Whole world is now waiting to welcome new year 2012. Thanks & Happy New year 2012 to you…

  2. Chris says:

    Looks like an awesome way to ring in the New Year.

    Someday I’ll learn to take good firework photos too :-p

  3. Ash says:

    Also, if you want to visit Mauritius, the period of June to August will be ideal as we are launching the Mauritius Shopping Fiesta where tons of items will be on sale (in addition to contests etc…). You can find out more by visiting the fiesta website.

  4. Paul says:

    The fiesta was a flop. Shops didn’t want to lower their prices, people didn’t want to buy overpriced items and worst of all, it didn’t help to attract tourists. The only people who knew about it were already on the island. So the fiesta didn’t help to attract more people to come. And they’re not going to travel all the way from Europe just to buy some discounted stuff, if they even knew about it beforehand.

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