Cayenne Festival in French Guiana Date in the current year: October 15, 2024

Cayenne Festival in French Guiana Cayenne Festival takes place in French Guiana, an overseas department and region of France, on October 15 every year. It is the official holiday of Cayenne, the capital city of French Guiana.

French Guiana is located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America, bordering Brazil and Suriname. Its official name in the French is simply Guiana (La Guyane); the epithet “French” is added in most languages other than French as a nod to colonial times, when there were five colonies that shared the name: Spanish Guiana, British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, French Guiana, and Portuguese Guiana. Now four of them are sovereign states or their regions.

The first European to set foot in what is now French Guiana was Christopher Columbus in 1498. The French first attempted to established a settlement in the area in 1624, but the Portuguese viewed is a violation of the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas and forced them to abandon it.

However, French settlers returned several years later and finally managed to establish a settlement at the mouth of the Cayenne River. Unfortunately, they had to abandon it again due to Amerindian attacks and the subsequent seizure of their territory by the Dutch West Indies Company. The French returned once more in 1664 and finally succeeded at establishing a permanent settlement.

Over the next couple of centuries, the colony changed hands several times before finally returning to French control in 1814. By that time, the French had brought slaves from Africa and established plantations. The colony began to prosper as an exporter of Cayenne pepper and other spices, hardwood, and sugar. In 1852, Devil’s Island in French Guiana was turned into a penal colony that operated until 1953.

Following the end of World War II and the beginning of the collapse of the colonial system, French Guiana became an overseas department of France, with Cayenne as its administrative center. Cayenne has the status of a commune, and therefore is administered by a mayor and a municipal council. The population of the city proper is over 61,200 inhabitants, and the population of the Cayenne metropolitan area is almost 139,000 inhabitants.

Cayenne is a major seaport in South America and a producer of canned pineapples and shrimp. It also exports sugar, rum, timber and rosewood essence. The main sights of Cayenne are the Place des Palmistes, the Botanical Garden, the market and the Place du Coq, the Saint-Sauveur Cathedral (also known as the Cayenne Cathedral), and more.

The Cayenne Festival is the official holiday of French Guiana’s capital. Festive events celebrating Guyanese culture, such as pageants, fairs, concerts and dance parties, are held throughout the month of October, but only October 15 is a public holiday and a non-working day in Cayenne. The October Cayenne Festival should not be confused with the Cayenne Carnival, which is held every year in January and February (during the Shrovetide season).

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