Easter is traditionally regarded as the most important of Christian holy days, and Easter in Martinique is celebrated with a public holiday on the day after Easter Sunday.
|2020||13 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday|
|2021||5 Apr||Mon||Easter Monday|
The date of the holiday changes each year based on the centuries-old calculations that determine the Christian Ecclesiastical Calendar. This means that the date of Easter Sunday can be anytime between 22 March and 25 April.
Martinique’s Easters are a very different experience from what people in the US or Europe are used to. Good Friday Mass and mimartindnight mass on Holy Saturday are familiar enough if you’re Roman Catholic, and the focus on delicious food is normal enough, if you’re French, but the rest is rather different.
As the Easter season approaches, you’ll notice crab traps and cages appearing all over the island. This starts with the opening of “crab hunting season” on 15 February each year. Later on, there will be a crab race and a matoutou, which is Martinique’s signature crab dish, cooking contest.
When Palm Sunday arrives, people attend church and wave palm leaves blessed by a priest. Then they hang them in their homes till next year to bring good luck.
On Easter Weekend, people enjoy time with family at home or often the beach. They also grill pork and chicken and cook a host of other dishes. But the matoutou is the centre of the celebration.