When the Chinese sprinkle the image of Buddha with sweet tea, when Hindus take turns swinging lovingly the cradle of babe Krishna, when Muslims rejoice at the birth of the Prophet,
Mauritians are celebrating the most famous birthdays in the world. But Christmas, commemorating the birth of Christ is celebrated most joyfully by Mauritians and Rodriguans, Christians as well as non-Christians.
St Luke’s Gospel describes the birth of Lord Jesus thus:‘And Mary
gave birth to her first born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch
over their flock by night’.‘And an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled
with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, who is Christ the
Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger”.’‘And suddenly there was
with the angel a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men
The word had become flesh. The date of December 25 was set in the West about the middle of the fourth century and in the East one century later. It is
believed that in the northern parts of Europe it corresponded to the time when the days began to lengthen. The idea of the sun god returning to life during the dark and dreary days of midwinter, blended well with
the idea of Jesus appearing as the Light of the World. When new brightness appeared in nature, Christians began to celebrate the coming of the new Light that will never fail. ‘This is a spiritual light, and hence it
is no great harm that in our modern cities which are always lighted, or in our southern part of the globe,, the climb of the sun, the natural symbol in question, is hardly noticeable, or indeed entirely overlooked.
Christianity does not hold aloof from nature; it gladly associates itself with its course, but it is not a nature religion attached to the cycle of the seasons. It is based on historical facts which remain eternally
Preparations begin weeks before Christmas day. Presents must be bought. Christmas trees have to be decorated with streamers, balloons and sparkling tinsel. December 25, the birthday of
Jesus Christ is a warm summer day in Mauritius. The Christmas tree is an imported reminiscence of northern hemisphere snowy winters. Our natural Christmas atmosphere is fragrant with the smellof ripe mangoes and
bunches of red ‘litchees’; it is also a time for deep starry skies and blooming, roses