Culture The islands of Guadeloupe

  • The islands of Guadeloupe
    © MATTES Rene
  • The islands of Guadeloupe
    © Anna Jedynak / 123RF
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination The islands of Guadeloupe

The islands of Guadeloupe: life and culture


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Discography of the Kassav music group:

The islands of Guadeloupe: discover the country's history


In 1493, Christopher Columbus discovers the island during his second trip to the West Indies.
In 1664, the "Code Noir" sets the conditions of slavery.
During the years of 1759-1763, Guadeloupe is occupied by the British.
February 7, 1793, the Convention abolishes slavery, restored by the British a year later.
In 1843, an earthquake ravages the city of Pointe-à-Pitre.
In April 1848, slavery is abolished for good.
In 1946, Guadeloupe becomes a French Department.
1967-1968, serious independent movement riots.
In 1976, explosive eruption of Soufriere volcano, forcing 72,000 people to leave their homes.
1983-1984, l'ARC claims attacks against "French colonialism".
1989, hurricane Hugo devastates the island.
1996, 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the island as a French department, lining up the SMIC (minimum wage) and social benefits on the ones received in France.
August 2002: Dominique Vian becomes Prefect of Guadeloupe.
December 7, 2003: with 72,98% of people voting "no", Guadeloupe (just like Martinique) rejects the project of institutional reform. The project, which was aimed at replacing the regional and local councils with a single assembly, was suggested by elected representatives.

The islands of Guadeloupe: celebrations and events

Bank holidays and national celebrations

January 1: New Year's Day
January 4, 2004: Epiphany.
Beginning of the Carnival season. It starts the Sunday of Epiphany and ends two months later. It includes several exciting events: election of the queen, Sunday's parade, Mardi Gras and the "Grand Vide" in black and white, and Ash Wednesday.

February 24, 2004: Carnival. Parades in the streets.
February 25, 2004: Ash Wednesday. King of the Carnival's incineration.

March 18, 2004: Mid-Lent

Early April: Celebration of the sea in Saint-Francois.
April 11 and 12, 2004: Crab festival in Morne a L'eau.
April 12, 2004: Easter Monday.

May 1: Labor Day.
May 3rd, 2004:
Old Resident festival.
Petit-Canal festival.
May 8: Celebration of the 1945 Victory.
May 20, 2004: Ascension. Traditionally, on this day, Guadeloupian people go for a picnic on the beaches.
May 23, 2004: Mother's Day.
May 27: Anniversary of the abolition of slavery.
May 31st, 2004: Whit Monday

June 21st: World Music Day.
May 20, 2004:
Baie-Mahault Festival
Moule Festival.
June 29, 2004: Deshaies Festival.

July 1st to August 31st: Guadeloupe Festival.
July 6, 2004: Port-Louis Festival.
July 14: National Day.
July 21st: Victor Schoelcher ceremony commemorating the abolition of slavery in 1848.
July 26, 2004:
Goyave Festival.
Sainte-Anne Festival

Guadeloupe cyclist tour.
Traditional Music Festival.
Miss Guadeloupe election.
August 10, 2004: Festival of Women Cooks. After a Mass in honour of their Patron Saint, members of the brotherhood prepare a very colourful mix of culinary specialties from the island.
August 14 and 15: Festival of the sailors in Saint-Francois. August 15, 2004:
Patron Saint Festival and Sailor Festival in Saintes.
Pointe Noire Festival.
Trois-Rivieres Festival.
La Desirade Festival.
Petit Bourg Festival.
August 17, 2004: Capesterre-Belle-Eau Festival.
August 23, 2004: Sainte Rose Festival.
August 25, 2004:
Gosier Festival.
Bouillante Festival.
August 28, 2004: Saint-Claude Festival

October 4, 2004:
Saint-François Festival.
Basse-Terre Festival.
October 9, 2004: Anse Bertrand Festival.
October 15, 2004: Basse-Terre Festival.

Beginning of the cockfight season.
November 1: All Saints' Day.
November 2: Day of the Dead.
For the event, candles light up cemeteries.
November 11:
Gourbeyre Festival.
Saint-Martin Festival.
November 22, 2004: Music Festival in honour of Sainte Cécile.
November 30, 2004: Morne à l'Eau Festival.

December 2004: Saint Nicolas Festival in Terre-de-Bas.
December 8, 2004: Day of women merchants in Abymes.
Mid-December: Jazz Festival in Pointe à Pitre.
December 25: Christmas Day.
December 31: New Year's Eve.
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