Whatever the month you plan to come in Martinique, you can attend a cultural event, social, religious or traditional in the island. AZ Martinique offers this chart so you know what event corresponds to your next trip to the island. For those who have not booked yet their vacations on the island, please check our calendar for the best schedule your visit. See you soon!
- New Year's Day (January 1)
First day of the calendar year. On this occasion, families gather around a meal of "lédjim-pays" (breadfruit, plantain bananas, green plantain bananas, yams, dasheen), a local rooster and rice. Note that superstition wants everyone to eat an orange and the more it has glitches, the more it announced that the year will be fruitful (usually money). Previously the seeds of this preciously orange were guarded all year.
- Epiphany (1st Sunday of the year after the New Year's Day or January 6)
Epiphany is a Christian holiday celebrating the Messiah born into the world receiving the visit of the Magi shortly after his birth. In France, it is commemorated usually the first Sunday after New Year's Day or January 6. This is not a day off. The festivities come down to a moment with family or relatives where the French Kings'cake is shared with a glass of cider.
- Challenge Kite of Fise Academy (January 15 to 17)
During three days, participate in the show, initiation and competition of Challenge Kite (race and freestyle) in the lagoon of Pointe Faula, in Vauclin.
- Feast of Candlemas (February 2)
The feast of Candlemas is the Christian religious holiday celebrating the presentation of Christ in the Temple. It takes place on February 2nd, every year, or 40 days after Christmas. Candlemas is also considered to be the last festival celebrating the birth of Christ after Christmas, the feast of the Innocents and the Epiphany.
Every Christian holiday tradition, that of Candlemas is the tasting of creps.
- International Nautical Week of Schoelcher (From February 12 to 15)
The Schoelcher International Nautical Week is an international sailing competition organized each year by the City of Schoelcher where competitors from the Caribbean, Europe and North America compete against Martinican sailors in different disciplines. This year will be the 31st edition.
- Carnival (Shrovetide)
The Martinique was the first territory of America celebrate Carnival. This festival celebrates the last days before the fast of Lent is four days of popular parade in all municipalities of the island, the most important being the parade of Fort-de-France. Sunday Gras is presented where the giant puppet named Vaval its incineration with great fanfare, on Ash Wednesday, the crowd sings, dances, jumps in a lively atmosphere.
- Foire aux Crabes / Crab Festival (Saturday before Easter Week)
The last Saturday before the Easter holidays, the town of Vauclin organizes a selloff crabs allowing local families to stock up for Easter. Besides crabs, local produce, fruit and vegetables are offered for sale.
Easter is the second most important religious holiday after Christmas. Besides the Friday Island where Christians go on different shrines of the island redoing the march of Christ carrying the cross on his shoulders before his crucifixion, Sunday is characterized by a mass and a family meal before go to beaches eat matoutou.
- Foire Expo de Fort-de-France (March ou April)
The Foire Expo de Dillon/Dillon Expo Fair is a trade event and festive pop of 5 days in March or April on the parking of Stade Pierre Aliker Dillon. This is an opportunity for local traders and craftsmen expose to the public their products and know-how on 10,000m² available to them. More than 200 companies on 350 stands are present every year with musical entertainment and play areas for the younger ones.
- Mai de Saint-Pierre / May of St.Pierre (Festivities throughout the month of May)
Throughout the month of May, the city of Saint-Pierre celebrate two major events in the history of Martinique and the city of Saint-Pierre: the eruption of Mount Pelee that destroyed the ancient capital of the island and the abolition of slavery decreed following a slave revolt in the city of ... St.Pierre. Far from being a mere commemoration, it celebrates the city, its strengths, its richness and past layabout. It is primarily a manifestation of the arts and culture featuring ancient fallen capital.
- Labour day (May 1)
Formerly International Workers Day, Labor Day celebrates the victory of the workers movements of the early 20th century demanding the 8 hour day of work. This day is the occasion of a parade of union formations of the island.
- Tchimbé Raid
This hike has typically been in the second quarter of the year for the past 25 years. It allows all hiking enthusiasts to indulge their passion while discovering tropical forest landscapes and of course to compete in three races. The Tchimbé Raid is organized around Mount Pelée.
Martinique Yole Festival
It is a real event around the round skiff, traditional Martinique boat, with round skiff races, concerts, craft village, entertainment… Generally the party takes place at the beach of Pointe Marin in Sainte-Anne.
- Ascension's day
Ascension is the Christian religious festival commemorating the elevation of Jesus Christ in heaven. This day is a public holiday. In Martinique the faithful go to Mass in the morning.
- Eruption of Mount Pelee (May 8)
The eruption of Mount Pelee is the largest natural disaster known by Martinique's history. Indeed following various eruptions occurring in 1902, the largest 8 May is 32 000 people who perished and the city of St. Pierre was completely destroyed sn losing status as capital city.
- Armistice commemoration of the Second World War (May 8)
A military parade was held in Martinique to celebrate the armistice of World War II. During the war nearly 700 victims from Martinique died fighting for France. Several memorials in the island keep their name in memory.
Pentecost is the Christian religious festival where the disciples of Christ have received the Holy Spirit enabling them to go evangelize all the countries of the world. Pentecost is celebrated as Easter. The beaches are stormed to taste the prepared matoutou at dawn.
- Commemoration of the Abolition of slavery in Martinique (May 22)
On May 22, 1848 following a slave rebellion in Saint-Pierre leading behind them all the municipalities of the Caribbean coast, slavery was abolished in an immediate way to the island. Initially the decree of April 27 included the liberation of slaves two months after it.
- Music Day (June 21)
The Music Day is celebrated across more than 100 countries worldwide, coincide with the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. It was launched by the American musician Joel Cohen in 1976 and was institutionalized by Jack Lang the Minister of Culture of the time in France. Since, Martinique also commemorates the music on that date with events planned in most towns of the island.
- Cultural Festival of Fort-de-France (the month of July)
The month of July is an opportunity for the city of Fort-de-France to give voice to Martinique and Caribbean sounds, display colors and movements. Throughout the month of July, concerts, exhibitions, plays and other cultural events are offered to the public of the island.
- Cycling Tour de Martinique (First week of July)
Each year beginning July argues the Cycling Tour of Martinique. During eight days, delegations from various countries compete for the yellow jersey leader. The public is very present to encourage their favorite riders.
- Banana festival
For over 5 years, the Banana Museum of Limbé Plantation at Fourniols district of St.Marie is organizing a festival around the banana. Each year, gastronomic innovations are presented to viewers (cocktails, sauces, various dishes made from bananas).
- France National Holiday / Bastille Day (July 14)
The Martinique as a French region, it commemorates the National Day of France. On July 14, refers to the taking of the Bastille, July 14, 1789 that led to the Revolution and the abolition of privileges reserved for the nobility and the clergy.
- Tour of Martinique Round Skiffs (last week of July or early August): See below
- Round skiff tour of Martinique (last week of July or early August)
Certainly the greatest popular event of the island with Carnival. During this race, around twenty sailing boats, round skiffs fight for the red jersey of the winner. The course is usually a full island tour with stops at the beaches of the island for 8 days (Sunday to Sunday).
- Biguine Jazz Festival
The Biguine Jazz Festival highlights music resulting from a marriage between biguine, a traditional Martinican rhythm, and jazz. The mix of genres gives rise to an interesting cultural mix to discover, in the heart of the City of Art and History of Saint-Pierre.
- Assomption (August 15)
Christian festival celebrating the elevation of the Virgin Mary into heaven. Statutory holiday in Martinique. No special festivities.
- Heritage Days (penultimate weekend of September)
"European Heritage Days" were created in 1984 in France by Jack Lang, then Minister for Culture. The event was called "Open Days of Historical Monuments". Two days of weekend usually the third week in September, historic monuments and places are open free to the free tour.
- Gastronomy Week (last weekend of September)
The Gastronomy Festival celebrates the place of French gourmet meal at the cultural heritage of France and its regions. Various events are planned for the occasion such as workshops, dinners, markets, meeting with producers for a gourmet weekend and full of flavor!
- International Day of Creole (October 28)
Every year since 1983, 28 October is an opportunity to honor the language and Creole cultures. Worldwide, Creole represents around 20 millions of people. Language spoken in the Caribbean especially Haiti where Creole is the official language, it is also present in the Indian Ocean, Africa, America and even Oceania. In Martinique, a dictation in Creole is organized the week of October 28 and performances, storytelling and other events are organized on the theme.
- All Saints day (November 1 and 2)
Each October 1 and 2, Martinique celebrates All Saints and All Souls' Day. Note that the two days are holidays in Martinique unlike the Metropolis where only the All Saints' Day is a holiday. During the two days, the people gathered around the graves of their missing loved ones and reminisce about the past. Grandparents, aunts, parents, cousins met and this is an opportunity to hear from family members not visited for months.
- Armistice of World War I (November 11)
Just as World War armistice which gave a holiday in France in memory of the dead for France, World War I was the day on November 11. If there remains no survivors of this war, this significant moment in the history of France and Martinique is therefore the opportunity to see the military parade on the seafront of the city of Fort-de-France.
- Raid des Alizés
Every year in the last quarter, women from all over the world come to participate in a competition in the middle of Martinique's nature, called the Raid des Alizés. For several days, teams of three women compete in various races such as running, swimming, canoeing or mountain biking, without knowing what the program will be for them. Beyond the competition, it is above all, an incredible moment of sharing, exchange and mutual aid between women.
- Festival of Musicians (November 22 - St. Cecile)
St. Cecilia is the saint who celebrates musicians. On this occasion, the island's towns provide free voice musicians to the town by organizing free outdoor concerts. This is an opportunity to honor all the music of the island especially traditonnelles music of the island (bèlè, beguine, mazurka, etc ...)
- International Half marathon of Fort de France (Last Sunday in November)
For over 30 years, Martinique organizes its international half marathon one month before Christmas (except in 2015 with the date of October 4). Many délagations from around the world are present for this race competing in the streets of the city of Fort-de-France. The audience on the edge of sidewalks supports both local runners than those from other regions for their efforts.
- Festival of Rum (Beginning of December)
Every year, the Saint-James Rum Distillery celebrates his rum and invites the public to an entertainment festival. For over three weeks, you can taste the different rums and cocktails offered at discounted rates for the St James Distillery. Besides the festivities taste, you will have the opportunity to visit the plantation via the train, enjoy the craft village (pottery, basketry, etc), attend fashion shows, and many options to spend a good time with family and friends, etc.
- Martinique Jazz Festival
It is one of the most important festivals in the Caribbean. For more than 30 years, the Martinique Jazz Festival has been a showcase for local and international artists wishing to share their talents with an audience of amateur and passionate music lovers from all over the world. Some of the luminaries of jazz who have participated in the Martinique Jazz Festival include the Marsalis Brothers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Paquito d´Rivera, Chucho Valdes, and many more.
The end of the year in Martinique pace with running. Besides the half marathon of Fort-de-France takes place Transmartinique allowing more courageaux, warned athletes and prepared to go to Martinique on a journey in the wilderness of North Island at Grand'Riviere to the South in Sainte Anne. If the race is open to amateurs, it requires athletic skills trained and prepared for the occasion. It is reserved for 400 participants. Several races are also held in this event such as blue challenge and reserved for seniors and younger.
- Christmas (December 25)
Christmas is the biggest religious festival in the Caribbean. By the end of All Saints' Day, Christmas songs are featured in families, neighborhoods or towns. Furthermore the atmosphere is also a gastronomy around the pork, the Shrubb, sorrel syrup, but pigeon peas. In the night, Santa Claus reward children who have been good all year like everywhere on the planet.
- The « Boucans de la Baie », Fort de France fireworks show (December 30)
Each year, the City of Fort-de-France commemorates the end of the calendar year by a traditional fireworks called "Boucans de la Baie" in the Bay of Fort-de-France. For several minutes, the city then plunged into darkness is illuminated by a veritable fireworks show. Very popular, the streets nearby are taken by storm early in the evening.
HAPPY NEW YEAR !