This implies that very often home preparations are mainly geared towards New Year celebrations rather than Christmas celebrations. As soon as the Christmas frenzy is over, a significant transformation occurs on streets as hawkers replace their toys’ stands with firecracker displays.
Streets remain busy as Mauritians prepare their New Year celebrations. On New Year’s Eve, the ‘réveillon’ is celebrated in various ways either peacefully at home or with family gatherings, in a feast, parties or barbecues in the same way as or even better than on Christmas eve. Many people (especially the young people) organise private parties or go to nightclubs.
Many like to stay in front of the TV for special New Year sega dance shows on the local channels or keep an ear on the radio for the final results of the ‘Song of the Year’ contest. The whole country’s effervescence reaches climax as the clock strikes midnight and fireworks bombard the sky and gardens to welcome the new year. Celebrations continue through the night and often until dawn.
The flame tree blooms mainly during the festive season in Mauritius and is commonly called “fleur banané”, the New Year Flower
New Year’s Day is considered a very important celebration for Mauritians. Celebrations take various forms. However, most Mauritians wear new fancy clothes, many go to the church and temples in the morning and visit neighbours, relatives and friends throughout the day to convey their greetings for the new year.
Many Mauritians also prefer to stay at home on New Year’s Day and receive their visitors while others will be hosting family lunches or dinners. Many fast and consume only vegetarian dishes and fruits. The traditional and most important aspect is the family togetherness and the exchange of gifts.