The National Day in Mauritius is an annual event and a public holiday occurring on the 12th of March each year.
It is a national celebration, marking the date of independence from the British, and occurred on March 12, 1968 – the day the British Union Jack was lowered for the last time.
The National Day in Mauritius is now celebrated island wide, and the President of Mauritius, as well as the Prime Minister usually addresses the nation in public speeches.
Many festivals and other events are arranged in villages, towns and cities all over Mauritius, and the Mauritian flag – The Quadricolour, can be seen on cars and bikes, and in houses and gardens all over the island.
Apart from marking the day of independence, The National Day in Mauritius is also an important attempt at building patriotism in the country – a symbolic way of bridging the many different cultures and religions present in Mauritius, and to promote prosperity by working together as a nation.
In 2008, Mauritius celebrated 40 years of independence, and the Government launched a massive campaign handing out Mauritian flags in thousands to celebrating citizens across the island.
The Mauritian flag – the Quadricolour, is composed of four stripes in red, blue, yellow and green. The different colours stand for;
Red – the struggle (bloodshed) for freedom and independence
Blue – the Indian Ocean surrounding the island territory
Yellow – the light of independence shining over the island
Green – the agriculture of Mauritius and its green colour throughout the year