French Guiana is an overseas department of France that’s located on the northeast coast of South America. Although it’s mainly composed of tropical rainforests, it is home to almost 300,000 people. Every year in this country, on the 15th of October, the Cayenne Festival takes place in the capital city of Cayenne.
In the city, this day is a public holiday that commemorates the founding of the city and is a non-working day for most citizens. It’s also a day when many businesses, schools, and government offices close. This day is filled with festivities that can include dance parties, parades, festivals, pageants, and concerts.
The History Of The Cayenne Festival In French Guiana
In 1498, Christopher Columbus landed in the area that is now known as French Guiana, but he wouldn’t establish a colony in the area. The first European power to establish a colony was the French, who made the attempt in 1624. However, the Portuguese saw this as a violation of the Treaty of Tordesillas, and the French were forced to abandon the colony.
A few years later, the French did return to the area and started a settlement at the mouth of the Cayenne River. This colony didn’t last very long, however, because Amerindian attacks forced the French to abandon it. It wouldn’t be until 1664 that the French would establish a permanent settlement in the area.
Over the next few decades, the colony would change hands between various colonial powers before being the French assumed control of it in 1814. It would operate successfully as a port until the collapse of the colonial system following WWII. The Cayenne Festival was established after World War II as a celebration of the capital city.
Observing The Cayenne Festival In French Guiana
This day is a public holiday in Cayenne, so it’s a day off for most people. That allows them to attend the parades, festivals, and concerts that take place on this day. A day that’s filled with these events, as well as a lot of other fun activities.