Events and public holidays
Events and National Holidays 2024
01 January, Monday - New Year's Day
February 10, Saturday - Chinese New Year
March 25, Monday - Holi Phagwa
At the Palmen Garden in Paramaribo, Holi is a festive occasion every year. The Hindu festival with the coloured powder is a very well known celebration these days. Fun to experience if you are in Suriname around this time of year!
March 29, Friday - Good Friday
The Friday before Easter. On this day, Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus on Golgotha hill near the city of Jerusalem.
March 31, Sunday - 1st Easter
The most important Christian feast in the liturgical year, following Holy Week. Christians celebrate this day based on their belief that Jesus rose from the dead, on the third day after his crucifixion.
01 April, Monday - 2nd Easter
Also known as Easter Monday.
3 April, Wednesday - Four-day walk
The Surinamese evening four-day walk is a unique event. It is not only a walking event, but at the same time a cultural event and a great show of dress and dance.
Paramaribo is hosting its 60th four-day walking event this year.
10 April, Wednesday - Ied-Ul-Fitr (change subject to change)
The Sugar Festival or Small Feast (Arabic: عيد الفطر, `id-al-fitr) is an Islamic festival celebrating the end of the month of Ramadan. The Arabic id-oel-fitr means "holiday on the occasion of the breaking (of the fast)".
01 May, Wednesday - Labour Day
Labour Day is a holiday of the socialist and communist labour movement. The day takes place in the Netherlands, Belgium and Suriname every year on 1 May.
June 05, Wednesday - Hindu Immigration, Prawas Din
The national commemoration of this Hindu immigration takes place every year on 5 June. In 2024, it will be 151 years since the first ship left Calcutta for the Dutch colony of Suriname.
Hindus left the then British East Indies for Suriname in 1873 as contract workers. They were mostly recruited under the guise of a temporary stay. They were promised that they could return to India at the end of the contract.
The first ship to carry immigrants to Suriname in 99 days in 1873 was the Lala-Rookh, on delivery the ship was called Radiant and made the first voyage to California, two voyages from New York to Australia. The name Lala-Rookh is taken from the daughter of the ruler of the Mogul Empire from 1658 to 1707. However, she is mostly remembered as the heroine in the 1817 poem Lalla-Rookh by Irish writer Thomas Moore.
16 June, Sunday - Ied-Ul-Adha (subject to change)
The Feast of Sacrifice, Slaughter Feast or the Great Feast is the second Id festival in Islam. It is celebrated in memory of Prophet Ibrahim, who was willing to sacrifice his son at the behest of God.
July 01, Monday - Keti-koti, Freedom Day
This 'Freedom Day' celebrates the end of slavery. It is an important holiday in Suriname. It is a celebration with lots of music, which often goes on into the small hours.
The name derives from Sranantongo and means Chains Broken.
On 1 July 1863, the Netherlands abolished slavery in Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles.
Over 45,000 slaves originally imported from Africa were freed, including 34,441 slaves in Suriname. Since then, the end of slavery has been celebrated on this day every year. Despite the fact that slave owners were compensated with 300 guilders for each slave, while the freed slaves themselves received nothing and also had to continue doing the heavy work on the plantations on a compulsory contract basis for 10 years.
Freedom Day is a celebration for all residents and not just the descendants of slaves.
09 August, Friday - Indigenisation Day/ Commemoration of Javanese Immigration
Also known as Ingi Dei. The day symbolises respect for and recognition of Suriname's indigenous people.
09 August, Friday - Javanese immigration commemoration
This holiday takes place on the same day as Dag er Inheemsen. The day commemorates that on 9 August 1890, the first Javanese contract workers set foot on Surinamese soil. They made the crossing on the steamship Prince Alexander. The last ship, the Kota Gedeh, arrived in 1939. During this 49-year period, more than 32,000 Javanese emigrated to Surinam. A third of them returned later. The contract workers continued to live and work on the plantations for a relatively long time. Furthermore, from 1920 some of them came to work in bauxite mining and from 1930 in small-scale agriculture.
October 10, Thursday - Day of the Maroons
Maroons, also called Businengre or Bosnegers, are fugitive West African slaves who went to live tribally in the jungles of South America, and their descendants.
November 1, Friday - Divali
Divali is a joyous festival and is often celebrated in a family context. It is a celebration for everyone, young and old, male and female, rich and poor. In Suriname, it has been a National Day since 2010. For a week, the Suriname Dia is also lit on Independence Square in Paramaribo.
After sunset, Hindus light lights in their homes and yards, hence it is also called "festival of lights". Divali is symbolically meant as "the victory of good over evil, victory of light over darkness, victory of bliss over ignorance.
November 25, Monday - Independence Day
Also known as Srefidensi Dey. Suriname became independent in 1975
25 December, Wednesday - Christmas Day
26 December, Thursday - Boxing Day
31 December, Tuesday - New Year's Eve
Owru Yari starts on 31 December around 11:00 in downtown Paramaribo.
During the month of December, there are a lot of parties and celebrations in Suriname. Many parties are organised around the turn of the year. Many Surinamese are also visiting family around this time, so keep in mind that there are more crowds if you are in Suriname during this period.