Madagascar: Holidays & Events for 2018

It is a New Year and time for New Adventures.

Take note of these Madagascar public holidays to be prepared for the Malagasy culture festivals. When planning your trips around the public holidays, it is a great way to join in the celebrations with the locals. Madagascar has an ancient history and these special days will tell you a few stories about its heritage.

Madagascar Public Holidays 2018

madagascar 2018

Here are a few Madagascar public holidays to add to your 2018 calendar:

29 March: Martyrs’ Day in Madagascar

Memorial Day is also known as Martyrs’ Day or Commemoration Day. The day is set to commemorate the death of more than 11,000 in the Revolt of 1947 of the armed militants of Democratic Movement for Malagasy Restoration (MDRM) in 1947.

10 May: Ascension Day in Madagascar

Ascension Day is the 40th day of Easter. It occurs 39 days after Easter Sunday and is a Christian holiday that commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascension into heaven.

21 May: Whit Monday in Madagascar

Whit Monday, or Pentecost Monday, is a Christian holiday. It is the day after Pentecost, also known as Whit Sunday or Whitsunday, which commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples of Jesus Christ.

26 June: Independence Day

The country gained full independence from colonial rule on the 26 June 1960


The special events’ taking placing annually in and around Madagascar is something to consider for your itinerary planning in 2018.

  • Madagascar Ultra Trail 2018

The race offers a route to the best areas of Northern Madagascar. This will be the third edition and will represent the year of the Chameleon. The path is in the remote areas of Northern Madagascar – the real rural side of Madagascar. The focus of the race is on discovery: Discover the Country, the People and the Culture.

Date: 09 July 2018 – 14 July 2018

Distances: 10km / 20km / 26km / 28km / 42km

Start: Anivorano du Nord

For more information on the race, click here

  • Music in Nosy Be

Every year from late May to early June, Nosy Be holds a music festival known as the Donia, where groups from Madagascar and neighbouring islands such as Comoros, Réunion, Mauritius and France come together to celebrate a wonderful mix of rock, reggae, Creole and pop. There are around 50,000 people that attend every year.

  • Whale watching

If you’re on Île Sainte Marie during the first two weeks of July, you can’t miss the Whale Festival.

  • Zegny’Zo Festival

In the third week of May, the streets become a theatre and traditional music is showcased in the streets of Diego Suarez.

  • Madajazzcar in Antananarivo

Madagascar bursts with soul around October. Keep an eye out for further details.

  • Pirogue Challenge

The pirogue challenge is something unique to experience and opens in May.

Read more about the race here

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