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Published on Nov 27, 2010
Hell-ville, capital city of Nosy Be in Madagascar, was named for French L''Ámiral de Hell over 100 nyears ago. The Donia festival is usually celebrated in May with parades, music and general revelry, often debaucherous. For the last couple of years, due to ''Le Crise'' (The crisis)- the festival has been canceled. This year it was postponed until Septembber and happened to take place on the day of my tour of the town. The opening day of the festival is marked by a Carnival type promenade, with local groups creating floats and marching through the one major street that runs through Hell-ville. Groups come from all over Madagscar, as well as Reunion, Seychelles and Mauritius. I found myself in the midst of this celebration with singers, dancers, zombies, transvestites, hookers and happy drunken people. It was crazy.