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Culture The islands of Guadeloupe
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Section editor


Available guides



Discography of the Kassav music group:


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.

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.