Chinese New Year in Mauritius is synonymous with family reunion, food and, for the youngest, partying. The celebrations often begin the day before with an oppulent family dinner.
For this occasion, a variety of dishes is displayed on the dining table, particularly meat – pork, beef and the famous this New Year’s Eve, we find a variety of dishes and particularly, meat – pork, beef or the famous Pekin duck.
While traditionally families would be invited to celebrate at the residence of the oldest members of the family, and this often being the parents, more and more are now opting to meet in restaurants for New Years Eve dinner.
In addition, restaurants organize special dinners across the island so that members of the Sino-Mauritian community can meet. After dinner, the youngest often go to nightclubs.
It is customary for Sino-Mauritians to distribute “gato lasir” (Editor’s note: wax cake – a rice-based candy) to celebrate the New Year. In addition, on the first day of the year, families often visit their local Pagoda to honor their ancestors.
In the lead-up to the Chinese New Year, don’t be surprised if you come face to face with a dragon in the various malls on the island. Indeed, regardless of beliefs, it is customary to have a Dragon dance and sound firecrackers all over the island to chase away evil spirits.