religion_tamoule138_temple_hindou_-_credit_irt_-_emmanuel_virin.jpgReligion tamouleReligion tamoule© Emmanuel VIRIN
© Emmanuel VIRIN

Religions

On Reunion Island, people pray to Christ, Allah, Shiva, saints and other deities

A kaleidoscope of denominations and religions

Religious beliefs coexist in harmony in this land of ethnic mixing, which gives the place an exceptional cultural and spiritual wealth. Religious festivals and traditions are celebrated all year round: firewalking, Dipavali (festival of light), Chinese New Year, Festival of Guan Di, Cavadee, “Fêt Caf” on 20 December, Liberté Métisse (abolition of slavery)…
We share with you this truly unique privilege, as Reunion Island offers all the variety and depth of its cultures and its spirituality.

The Catholicism

Saint-Denis, Saint-Paul, Saint-Pierre, Saint-Gilles, Saint-Joseph, Sainte-Anne, Sainte-Rose … most towns’ names testify to the presence of Catholicism on the island. Churches are crowded every Sunday and for every holiday in the Catholic calendar.
Along the roads, small altars painted red catch visitors’ attention. They are dedicated to a saint who’s little known outside Reunion: Saint-Expédit. He’s credited with the power to resolve the most delicate matters as quickly as his name suggests!

Some churches are well worth a look

  •  Sainte-Anne with its semi-“baroque” architecture
  • Notre-Dame des Laves in Sainte Rose, surrounded by lava from the 1977 eruption

At the heart of the little village of Salazie is … a cathedral. And in the heights of Saint-Gilles, the pointed chapel, built by Madame Desbassyns, is so elegant, and helps prolong your visit to the Musée de Villèle (museum).

Fantastic religious tolerance

The mixing of populations is what gives Reunion Island its diversity of religious faiths. You’ll doubtless be surprised to find a church next to a Hindu temple or hear the call of the muezzin break the silent atmosphere cradled by the incense rising from a Chinese pagoda next to the mosque.

 

The story has only just begun !

What are you going to do next ?