National holidays

Madagascar’s diversity is reflected on its plentiful colourful festivals. Alahamady Be opens the traditional Malagasy year, followed by the rice harvest (May) and Donia, a celebration of traditional music on Nosy Be resort island (May/June). The ‘turning of the bones’ (July-September) and ‘cleansing of the relics’ (September-November) ceremonies fill out the calendar. Alongside the old traditions are the Catholic spiritual calendar – Easter, Assumption (August 15th), All Saints Day (November 1st) and of course, Christmas – and the calendar of political milestones: the 1947 uprising against French rule (March 29th), Independence Day (June 26th), with the Republic’s Anniversary on New Year’s Eve bringing in the New Year.

In addition there are the following holidays:

1st January

New Years Day

29th March

Martyrs’ Day

6th April

Easter Monday

1st May

Labour Day

14th May

Ascension Day

26th June

Independence Day

15th August


1st November

All Saints’ Day

25th December

Christmas Day