Martyrs Day in Madagascar in 2025

Martyrs Day in Madagascar in 2025
  How long until Martyrs Day?
Martyrs Day
  Dates of Martyrs Day in Madagascar
2025 Madagascar Sat, Mar 29 National Holiday
2024 Madagascar Fri, Mar 29 National Holiday
2023 Madagascar Wed, Mar 29 National Holiday
2022 Madagascar Tue, Mar 29 National Holiday
2021 Madagascar Mon, Mar 29 National Holiday

A public holiday dedicated to those who died in 1947 during the revolt against the French.

When is Madagascar Martyrs' Day?

Martyrs' Day is a public holiday in Madagascar, observed on March 29th.

Also known as Commemoration Day or Insurrection Day, this holiday memorialises those who died in the Revolt of 1947 against the French.

History of Martyrs' Day

In the early 19th century, Madagascar was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar. Seen as a key strategic location by both France and Britain, France invaded Madagascar in 1883, eventually removing the monarchy and quashing resistance and imposing colonial rule in 1897.

During the Second World War, the Vichy government of France unsuccessfully fought the British for the control of Madagascar. The actions of the French after the war galvanised the growing call for independence, leading to the Malagasy Uprising of 1947.

With the failure of the nationalist political movement to convince the French to accept independence, the nationalists launched a series of attacks on the evening of  March 29th 1947. Though the rebels were armed only with spears against the French soldiers, the uprising spread and escalated across the island in the following months.

In May 1947, the arrival of additional troops from France meant the colonial army was able to crush the rebellion and regain control of the island.

Though the uprising was subdued by the French, it forced the French to establish reformed institutions in 1956 and paved the way for Madagascar to move towards independence without the need for more violent insurrection.

While estimates of the number of Malagasy casualties vary wildly from 11,000 to 100,000, the indisputable violent repression of the uprising had a major impact on the country.

Martyrs' Day is a time to remember those who sacrificed their lives in the rebellion for their country's freedom. 29th March was first declared as a day of mourning by President Tsiranana in 1967.

A national museum dedicated to the Uprising was inaugurated in 2012 by President Andry Rajoelina at Moramanga.

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