08 August 2014

Swaziland: The dates of the Reed Dance 2014 have been announced

Swaziland Tourism has announced the dates of the 2014 Reed Dance. The festival will start on 26 August 2014, with the main day of the event (day 7) to happen on 01 September 2014. This is when the main ceremony occurs, with the dancing attended by King Mswati III. 01 September 2014 will be a public holiday in Swaziland.

The Reed Dance ceremony is a centuries old tradition where the Swaziland's unmarried and childless females present their newly cut reed to the Queen Mother to protect her residence. The highlight of the event is the reed-giving ceremony. Tens of thousands of maidens from Swaziland gather at the Queen Mother's royal village, the Ludzidzini Royal Residence, dressed in traditional attire; bright short beaded skirts with colourful sashes revealing their bare breasts to dance and sing and celebrate the unification of the Kingdom’s women. His Majesty King Mswati lll, who sometimes makes use of the occasion to publicly court a prospective fiancĂ©e, joins the celebrations to pay tribute to the maidens. 

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