The Fèt Kaf, when freedom guides the people of Reunion
Like many countries, Reunion Island was unfortunately not spared from slavery. From the start of the colonization of the island by Europeans, and particularly the French in the 17th century, slaves from Africa and Madagascar were brought to Reunion Island, which was called Bourbon Island at that time.
Uncommon at first, the importation of slaves gained momentum at the start of the 18th century with the cultivation of coffee and intensified at the start of the 19th century with the introduction of sugar cane. Despite the abolition of slavery in France in 1794, it was not until December 20, 1848 that the abolition of slavery was promulgated by Sarda Garriga and that this monstrous practice ceased.
The Fèt Kaf celebrates the end of slavery and bears witness to what all these enslaved men and women went through, so that their history will be remembered. The Creole expression Fèt Kaf means “Fête des Cafres”, the Cafres being the descendants of the black slaves of intense island, but this does not mean that it is dedicated only to them, quite the contrary.
The Fèt Kaf is a message of tolerance and fraternity celebrated by all Reunion Islanders everywhere on the island. A mixed population that unites around the common heritage of slavery, the story of a divided people who have realized their madness. A holiday since 1983, this day is a day of festivities in which the Maloya and the Sega in the sky of Réunion.
For more than Holidays in Réunion consult our interactive map.