Martinique has more than its fair share of festivals. The main pre-lenten carnival, Mardi Gras, takes place in February or March when the whole of Martinique takes to the streets in fantastic costume. On Ash Wednesday, black and white clad ‘devils’ parade the streets lamenting loudly over the death of Vaval. At Eastertime, the children fly coloured kites which once had razors attached to their tails for kite fights in the wind. At Toussaint in November, the towns are lit by candlelight processions making their way to the cemeteries to sit with the dead.
Every village celebrates its Saint’s Day with games, shows and folk dancing, usually over the nearest weekend. The town of Saint-Marie holds a cultural festival in July, and Ajoupa-Bouillon has a festival of the crayfish, while in August the town of Marin holds its cultural festival.
Among the many other festivities there is the Martinique Food Show, in April, a culinary fair with lots of competitions; the May of St-Pierre, in May, which commemorates the eruption of the volcano Montagne Pelée; the biennial International Jazz Festival, or World Crossroads of the Guitar, in December.
New Year’s Day; Easter Sunday and Easter Monday; Labour Day on 1 May; Ascension Day; Whit Monday; 8 May VE Day; 27 May Slavery Abolition Day; National/Bastille Day on 14 July; Schoelcher Day on 21 July; Assumption Day in August; All Saints Day on 1 November; All Souls Day on 2 November Armistice Day on 11 November and Christmas Day.