Festival Kreol is the most important annual event in Seychelles' cultural calendar, dedicated to preserving and promoting Creole culture and heritage and encompassing food, music, dance, fashion and art.
Local people and visitors mingle to enjoy the vibrant, colourful spectacle, sampling traditional cuisine and entertainment during the seven-day extravaganza. Now in its 32nd year, this event will be more exciting than ever, as between 23rd and 29th October it will be combined with the annual Carnival International de Victoria.
Held annually since 2011, the carnival is a fiesta with enough colour, buzz and excitement to rival the top contemporary carnivals around the world. Visitors to the double event this year are in for a truly spectacular treat.
Festival Kreol is an opportunity for local people to pay homage to their Creole heritage, with multiple locations on Mahé island hosting a breathtaking array of entertainment. The festival not only promotes indigenous arts, it is also an international exchange which attracts Creole artists from across the globe.
Promoting the Creole language, the Kreol Institute is one of the main venues. It will be hosting a multitude of seminars and debates throughout the whole festival week. Among the attractions are classes where people can learn to speak the local language.
A Creole village in the capital Victoria hosts many stalls, selling fascinating craft items and traditional cuisine. Everywhere you look signs, banners and T-shirts invite everyone to celebrate their "Creolité" and the whole country celebrates actively with an enthusiasm that you will seldom find anywhere else in the world.
Special events during the festival include a traditional Seychellois wedding, with an accompanying exhibition of photographs and life-size figures depicting the dress and tradition of a wedding on the islands. Visitors are invited to attend the wedding, as well as to the exhibition.
Another highlight is the all-night party, Bal Asosye. This Seychellois ball is usually held at an exclusive venue and offers traditional foods. The event begins at 6pm and continues until 7am, with the same level of excitement from dusk ‘til dawn. A meal of spicy potato and herb soup is served at midnight and traditional dances continue throughout the night including Kamntole which is a type of square dance, Seychelles' national dance the Moutya and the traditional Sega which is a dance that originated among African slaves as a diversion from their daily existence - involving plenty of hip-swaying. The most popular bands in Seychelles perform live at the festival.
Diverse artforms combine to make sure there's something for everyone - storytelling, poetry, drama and musical performances, with plays performed in the Creole language. Last year's festival saw an adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed in Creole, while an exhibition of Reunion artist Jean Bernard Grondin's works, fashioned from goni - a material once used to make sugar cane sacks, clothing and household items - fascinated all who saw it. In particular, Grondin's depiction of the unique coco de mer palm tree, an iconic symbol of the islands, was a huge visitor attraction.
The regular evening market by the beach in Beau Vallon will have plenty of food and drink to keep everyone happy as they browse the stalls or sit on the warm sands at sunset. During the Creole festival, the market will be alive with local musicians playing traditional music, as people dance around the fire into the night.
A highlight of the festival is a special ceremony for the Commemoration of the International Day of Creoles, when a costumed parade winds its way through the streets, culminating inside the mighty stadium on Mahé with synchronised dancing. Hear the spirited local music and see the experts dancing – there truly is no better way to soak up the amazing Seychellois culture.
If you're planning to visit Seychelles during the Festival Kreol and Carnival International de Victoria this October, book early at one of the top Seychelles resorts, Savoy Resort and Spa. Enjoying a prime location on beautiful Beau Vallon beach, we offer a selection of the most luxurious rooms on the islands.
Come and join the fun!