Guadeloupe: holidays, events, climate
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|Date||Type of holiday|
|6th January||St. Stephen’s Day or Feast of the Three Kings.Dinner with traditional dessert, the “galette des Rois”, with a king being drawn|
|January||Beginning of the carnival season, every weekend until Ash Wednesday you can see and hear carnival groups in the streets|
|Early February||Shrove Tuesday: the carnival is at its peak,|
|Early February||Ash Wednesday: on the occasion of a nightly parade “Grand Brilé Vaval”|
|middle of March||Half of Lent – a day of carnival during Lent.Parades in black and red costumes|
|March April||Good Friday and Easter Monday|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|May 27||abolition of slavery|
|July 14||Jour de la Bastille /National holiday|
|21 July||Jour de Victor Schölcher/Day of the Liberation of Slaves|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|24th of December||Christmas|
Source: Countryaah – Guadeloupe Holidays
Regular cultural and sporting events
|April||Festival of the Sea in Saint FrançoisInformation: Tourist Office|
|April||Festival of the crabs in Morne à l’Eau|
|middle of May||Cre ole Blues Festival in Moule|
|end of June||Music DayEvents and concerts throughout the archipelago|
|July 1st – August 31||Festival Guadeloupe(gastronomy, music, customs)|
|July||Crafts andFolk Customs Forum of Sainte Anne Information: OMCS, Telephone:0590- 881216|
|July||Gwo-Ka; traditional drumfestival of Sainte Anne OMCS, Tel: 0590- 88116|
|August||Election of Miss Guadeloupe|
|August||Festival of Traditional Music in Moule|
|August||Feast of the cooks: the cooks, in honor of their saint, St. Lawrence, carry food baskets into the cathedral and then go through the streets of Poite-à-Pitres.|
|mid August||Fe st of fishermen and sailors, Marina of Saint François|
|middle of December||Pointe-à-Pitre Jazz Festival Freeconcerts in the streets, some of the Pointe-à-Pitres restaurants and on Place de la Victoire|
|April||End of the cock fighting season|
|Mid-April||Arrival of the competitors of the BPE Trophy in Marie-GalanteTransatlantic Sailing Race, from Belle Ile en Mer to Marie Galante|
|August||Tour de la Guadeloupe; International cycling race|
|August||Ralley of Marie Galante|
|November 1||Beginning of the cockfighting season|
Guadeloupe has a subtropical climate. The average temperatures are between 22 ° and 30 °Celsius, the humidity is high. The highest temperatures are from July to September. In the mountains, however, it is pleasantly cool due to the constant sea breeze. The rainiest time is between July and November, whereby it rains particularly much in the high areas and on the coasts. The main season in Guadeloupe is during the European winter months December to April.
For people who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures can not cause any problems visit the country, whereby from October to May the climate is also suitable for more sensitive people.
In Guadeloupe there has always been a lot of singing and dancing, especially the work songs of the slaves have later combined with the melodies of the European immigrants. In recent years, a number of famous dance and music groups have emerged on the island, which are also known in Europe. But the peak of traditional music is the Karnvel, (Varval), there are parades, circus performances, beauty and dance competitions.
The national costume is very colorful, especially on the holidays. The old French fashion was reworked by the slaves according to their taste. The ladies wear a long dress with a very wide skirt that is slit on one side, a shawl and a hood, the hood can have several points, one point means “my heart is still free”, two points proclaim “my heart is no more free ”and three points mean“ I have tons of lovers ”. On the neighboring island of Martinique, the tips have a different meaning.
Cockfights still exist in Guadeloupe and are very popular with the local population. The fights usually take place in winter and mostly on Sunday afternoons and are almost exclusively male. Every bigger place has its own arena. The roosters, bred for this purpose, compete against each other, and sometimes small “spurs” are attached to their legs. During the fight the cocks inflict bloody injuries, a fight lasts between 5 and 20 minutes, the end is decided by the referee if one of the two cocks stops moving, if both cocks no longer fight, or one of the owners wishes the end the fight to save his (expensive) rooster. At the beginning of the spectacle bets are made and sometimes large sums are placed, of course, the ubiquitous rum that makes it difficult to drive up the bets and plunge into debt is also part of it. The competition often lasts into the early evening hours.
Place de la Victoire/Point-à-Pitre
The lively square of Point-à-Pitre is lined with colonial houses with wrought-iron balconies or continuous verandas. From the Place de la Victoire you can see the old port of La Darse. The fruit and vegetable market is held here on weekdays. The most beautiful house on the square is probably that of the Office du Tourisme, the tourist office, which dates from the 19th century.
Zévalos House on Grande-Terre
The former manor house dates back to 1845 and was the center of the first steam-powered sugar factories, whose chimney ruins and other parts of the building can still be seen from afar. The house is built in a perfect colonial style and is probably one of the most beautiful buildings on the island.
The fort dates from the 17th century and rises on a rocky promontory above the Galion estuary. The massive fortress was equipped with parapets and bastions for a century and a half and expanded into a star-shaped fortress. Fierce battles between the British and French took place here. Well-preserved battlements, bastions and trenches spread out over an area of five hectares on a star-shaped floor plan. A historical museum is housed in the restored part.
The museum commemorating the slave liberator Victor Schoelcher is housed in a beautiful pink colonial house. Antiques and memorabilia are on display.
Saint-John Perse City Museum/Point-à-Pitre
A museum has been housed in the former home of a factory manager since 1987 on the occasion of the hundredth birthday of the poet Saint-John Perse. On the ground floor you can see the Creole living culture, while on the following two floors you can see photos and personal belongings of the poet.
Musée de Rhum/Sainte-Rose on Basse-Terre
At Gut Severin you can visit an authentic distillery that is still operated with a large impeller.
The various stages of rum production can be easily followed here – from chopping the sugar cane to distilling. Right next to it, in Bellevue-Sainte-Rose, a rum museum was opened. There you can study three centuries of sugar cane history, but also look at contemporary and archaic utensils for rum production, with which the different cultivation methods and development phases are documented.
The Artchipel Theater in Basse-Terre is the national theater of Guadeloupe. It provides a stage for well-known Guadeloupe artists.
Churches and sacred institutions
Church of Le Moule
The building, completed in 1850, is probably the most impressive church on the island, its gates are supported by four Ionic columns on a flight of stairs. To the left and right of the main entrance, niches structure the facade, while high above the large cross offers a striking eye-catcher.
Hindu cemetery/Saint Francois
Immigrants from India live in St. Francois, so there are various Hindu places of worship and a Hindu cemetery.
The colorful Hindu temple with its numerous statues of gods forms an attractive contrast to the Caribbean environment.
Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church
Marché St.- Antoine/Point-à- Pitre
The market is probably the most beautiful and turbulent market in all of Guadeloupe. The market women have set up their stalls under a red tile roof to sell mangoes, bananas and papayas. The ladies are dressed in the traditional Mardras plaid dresses and skirts. In addition, lobsters and medicinal herbs are sold.
Université des Antilles et de la Guyane
The University of Antilles Guiana was founded in 1969 and acts as the French “overseas” university for French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique. Approximately 12,000 students are currently enrolled at this university.
Point de Chateaux on Grande-Terre
At this bay the sea thunders with high waves against the rocks in front of it. Above the Point de Chateaux, the Pointe des Colibris rises 43 m high and allows a good view of the offshore islet “Ile de la Petite-Terre” and the rugged coast.
Bathing here is life-threatening.
Grands Fonds on Grande-Terre
In the interior of the island lies a heavily eroded and karstified landscape in which isolated limestone hills, cones and plateaus rise up to 136 m height, the so-called “Deshautes”, while there are deep depressions and valleys below Sea level. After heavy rain, these transform into a branched lake district.
La Soufrière on Basse-Terre
This national park is the largest in the Antilles with 17,300 hectares. It was founded in 1989. The park’s forest extends around the La Soufrière volcano, the only one still active in Guadeloupe. Its main crater is surrounded by further mountain cones, its summit is mostly shrouded in clouds. The rainforest reaches up to 600 m. There are 300 km of marked hiking trails.
Archaeological Park of Trois-Rivières on Basse-Terre
One of the most important and at the same time oldest cultural monuments of Guadeloupe is located in Trois-Rivières: the “Parc Archéologique des Roches Gravées”, which was built in 1976. In the stony terrain you come across impressive rock carvings from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, which probably come from the Arawaks, the Caribbean indigenous people. There is hardly a better way to see the technical skills and repertoire of this art form. Most impressive are probably the many faces, sometimes with, sometimes without a nose, and some with magnificent head protection. In addition, a botanical garden has been created in the rocky landscape, which gives an overview of the most important tropical crops that thrive here.
Domaine de Valombreuse/Petit-Bourg on Basse-Terre
The flower park of Domaine de Valombreuse is nestled in the shady valleys of Petit-Bourg. About 300 species of birds live in the natural paradise and countless species of flowers thrive here.
Underwater Nature Park/Reservé Jaques Cousteau on Basse-Terre
France’s only underwater park was named after its founder. In the 1950s, Costeau made the award-winning underwater film “Le monde du silence” (Silent World Underwater). Divers can see whole coral forests in different colors. The park is 300 hectares in size, and even near the beach you can see gorgonians and huge schools of fish. A guided tour is offered with a glass-bottom boat, and diving shops have established themselves that offer guided dives.
Beaches on Grande-Terre
In contrast to the beaches on the west coast, those on the east coast are characterized by rugged rock formations and the sea hitting the rocks.
Plage du Souffleur/Port-Louis on Grand-Terre
The beach of the small port town is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
Anse Maurice on Grand-Terre
Lonely beaches with swimming opportunities
Plage de l’Autre Bord/Le Moule on Grand-Terre
Anse de la Gourde and Pointe Tarare
Between St. Francois and the northernmost point of Grande-Terre, next to the route, separated by a small forest, there are wonderful wild beaches, where nudist bathing is also possible.
Anse Caribes on Basse-Terre
black sand beach
Plage de la Grande Anse on Basse-Terre
Probably the most beautiful bay in the south of Basse-Terre with an elongated brown, fine sandy beach.
Gold Coast/Corniche d’Or on Basse-Terre
The tourist office has already had the first hotels built, but much is still untouched.