Martinique, French Caribbean

Cultural Events

Whenever you will come to Martinique, there might be a worth seeing local event as Martinique’s local culture is diverse and well-developed. Here is a short list of the most appreciated local events among travelers.

Carnival

During the 4 days of the Carnival parties, parades and costumed revelers fill in the streets of Martinique, until Ash Wednesday. On Ash Wednesday takes place a final parade and Burning of King Carnival on a funeral pyre.

There are numerous other festivals paying homage to Martinique’s heritage : Sainte-Marie, Le Marin and Fort-de-France all old lively cultural festivals.

In May, the commemoration of the anniversary of the eruption occurs in Saint Pierre. You can attend series of lectures, presentations and guided tours.

Musical Events 

There are two big music festivals in Martinique, which are Jazz à la Martinique and Carrefour Mondial de Guitare. Both of them last more than a week and take place in December. If you like gospel, there is also an international gospel festival.

On June 21st is the Fête de la Musique, during which some of the greatest musical forms hail from the Caribbean, especially with calypso, reggae, but also zouk, a traditional Caribbean rythmic music. During this day, concerts are performed all over the island.

Martinique Expo

In March, the Martinique Expo features creations varying from craft items to clothing made in Martinique and around the world.

Sports Events

In November, the Martinique International Half marathon gathers more than 2500 runners from all over the world for a run in incredible landscapes. It includes several special races, such as high school mini-marathon, and other running competitions.

During November also takes place La Belle Martinique, an amateur cycling race touring the Island. Travelers and locals participate annually under the crowd’s cheering.

The Pool Art Fair, gathering annually contemporary international artists is also held during November, at the Impératrice Hotel in Fort-de-France.

In December, you will have the opportunity to discover music festivals, but also the rum festival at the St. James Distillerie, as well as Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve celebrations (accompanied with fireworks in Fort-de-France).

Boating Events

As Martinique has renowned ports, the number of boating events that take place in Martinique is impressive. Here are some of the most popular :

  • The Yole Boat Race, held during one week in August, which is a five-day boat race around the island using traditional fisherman’s boats only. Carnival style celebrations punctuate each day’s victory, while hundreds of yachts, catamarans and other private vessels trail the racers and party at the same time.
  • The Schoelcher Nautical Week in February, that attracts boaters from the Caribbean and France each winter
  • The Aqua festival in April, with sailing shows and parades around the bay of Le Robert
  • The Round Martinique Regatta in February, punctuated by festive events during the 3 days of the race
  • The Trans-Caraibe des Passionnés in March is a race during which participants will star from Le Marin to Cuba

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