Dates of Mauritian National Day
National Day in Mauritius is a public holiday that is celebrated annually on 12 March.
This holiday is the national day of Mauritius and it marks two key events in the recent history of the country that both took place on 12 March; independence from Britain in 1968 and becoming a republic in 1992.
Due to its strategic position, Mauritius was a prized target for European countries looking to establish control and trade routes in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius passed through Dutch, French and finally British control, becoming a colony of Britain in March 1810.
In 1959, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan had given his famous 'Winds of Change' speech, stating the British government's intention to give independence to many of its overseas colonies. This led to an increasing call within Mauritius for self-rule.
The elections of 1966 resulted in victory for an alliance of the Mauritius Labour Party and other self-rule parties.
On 12 March 1968, Mauritius adopted its new constitution and gained independence as a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II remained head of state and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan became the first Prime Minister of Mauritius.
Exactly twenty four years later, on March 12, 1992, Mauritius was proclaimed as a republic within the British Commonwealth.
To mark National Day, Mauritians will show their pride in their nation by displaying their colourful flag across the island. An official flag-raising ceremony takes place with military parades and live music.