National Day in Mauritius
Observed annually in Mauritius on March 12th, National Day is a public holiday that commemorates two key events in the country’s recent history that shaped the nation and secured its freedom. Also known as Independence and Republic Day, this holiday marks the country’s independence from Britain in 1968 and its establishment as a republic in 1992.
This is a patriotic holiday for citizens across the country, and many people decorate their homes with the Mauritius flag. This flag is also raised above government offices and businesses throughout the nation on this day.
The History of National Day in Mauritius
Over the years, Mauritius was under Dutch, French, and finally British control, starting in March 1810. This was because the country is situated in a strategic location in the Indian Ocean that could be used to establish and control trade routes.
In 1959, many people in Mauritius felt that the island nation should be able to govern itself. Seven years later, elections were held, resulting in a victory for the Mauritius Labour Party—a party that advocated for self-rule.
On March 12, 1968, Mauritius adopted its new constitution and became a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II remained the head of state, but Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became the first Prime Minister of the country. On March 12, 1992, Mauritius was proclaimed a republic within the British Commonwealth.
Observing National Day in Mauritius
Across Mauritius, the country’s flag is displayed on government buildings, schools, and businesses. The flag is also raised in an official capacity at Champ-de-Mars in Port Louis. This flag-raising ceremony is followed by speeches from politicians.
There is also a parade featuring people holding the Mauritius flag, and street parties that include dance and loud music. People throughout the country use this public holiday to spend quality time with friends and family members.