Festivals and public holidays
Madagascar celebrates the usual Christian holidays, and has three secular public holidays, during which many offices and shops will be closed. The country normally sees in the New Year with a three-day party, with ceremonies, song and dance – and again most offices are closed.
January New Year
March Martyrs’ Day, commemorating the Revolt of 1947
March/April Easter Monday (March 28, 2016; April 17, 2017; April 2, 2018)
May 1 Labour Day
May Ascension (May 5, 2016; May 25, 2017; May 10, 2018)
May/June Whitsun (May 16, 2016; June 5, 2017; May 21, 2018)
June 26 Independence Day
August 15 Assumption
November 1 All Saints’ Day
December 25 Christmas Day
A festival calendar
Diana festivals bit.ly/Diana-Festivals. Festivals of culture, sport, music, dance and arts include: Zegny Zo in Diego Suarez (May); Kabiry in Ambilobe (Aug); and Sorogno in Ambanja (Sept).
Donia Nosy Be (a week or so in May or June) festival-donia.com. Hell-Ville and nearby villages stage shows of traditional music and dance with artists visiting from across the Indian Ocean region.
Famadihana Throughout the central highlands (June–Sept). Hundreds of two-day family exhumation and reburial ceremonies, with feasting and music.
Festivanille Satrahagna Sambava (Aug) bit.ly/Festivanille. Vanilla-flavoured series of weekend festivals in the Sava region (Vohémar, Andapa, Antalaha and Sambava), with sporting contests, music and dance.
Madajazzcar Antananarivo (Oct) madajazzcar.mg. International jazz festival.
Everything you need to know before you set off.
Travel offers; book through Rough Guides
Planning your trip to Madagascar
Everything you need to plan where to go and what to do.
The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.
Passport to write: the runners-up!
After weeks of deliberation, we're thrilled to announce the results of the Rough Guides and Journeys are made @gapyear.com writing competition. The winning p…03 Jul 2015 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Incredible forests of the world
Spiny Forest, Madagascar On an island filled with weird and wonderful living things, the spiny forest has to be Madagascar's most unusual ecosystem. Endemic to…03 Oct 2014 • Alison Roberts camera_alt Gallery
The world's most epic cycle routes
Life on two wheels is a beautiful thing, and travel on two wheels can be epic. Here are a few of the world's greatest cycle routes to consider for your next big…15 Apr 2014 • Greg Dickinson camera_alt Gallery