Photo of Morne a l'Eau cemetery

Highlights of a life in Guadeloupe

2 minutes

Life in Guadeloupe revolves around a few yearly events inherited from Catholicism (yes, carnival included).

Carnival season

Carnival bacchanal mi seh! Since Rihanna’s very public incursions into Barbados carnival, a light has been shed on a well-loved tradition shared across Caribbean cultures. In Guadeloupe, carnival season runs at full tilt from the end of December to as late as early March. 

For maybe a decade now, we’ve felt the influence of Barbados’ Crop Over festival and Brazil’s carnival on our music and costumes, but Akiyo remains the undisputed guardian of the Guadeloupean carnival spirit.

They are darn impressive marching the streets, walking like one to the deafening sound of the drums while massive whips crack the air at the front to warn of their imminent approach.

Carnival in Guadeloupe is also…

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What do you do when the Easter bunny shows the tip of its cute little nose? A frenetic chocolate hunt in your garden? No offence, but we got better!

We go camping on the beach with friends and family for a few days! And because it wouldn’t be the same without food, all the gran-grans cook for days and probably for one or two battalions. Callaloo, here we come!
Crab callaloo, rice and minced codfish, an Easter classic

La Toussaint – All Saints Day

A personal favourite. When everyone occasionally drops flowers on their loved ones’ grave, us Guadeloupeans we have to do extra. 

On All Saints Day, families gather in the cemeteries at night to lit candles on their deceased’s tombs. I know it sounds creepy… like who wanders in a cemetery at night?! But no, I swear it’s not. It’s quite fun actually. 

Not only everyone is out there, but the cemeteries are beautifully drenched in candle lights and shine all through the night.

We love celebrating life. All Saints Day is a time where we bring back to life the ones we’ve lost: we sit, talk, revive memories, make little wax figures… (and maybe uncover family secrets nobody wants to tell you about).

This is it for part 4. More to come for the curious minds 🤓

📷  ©Les Carnets de Gee

Photos are a selection from @ilesguadeloupe. You can also check out @idees@wat_magazine@happyman_photography and @visit_pointeapitre wonderful shots and takes on the Caribbean life.