02 March 2015

Swaziland's cultural festivals in 2015!

update (03 August 2015): The Umhlanga/Reed Dance will start on 25 August 2015, with the main day of the event (day 7) to happen on 31 August 2015. [more]

update (03 June 2015): The 10th edition of the MTN Bushfire Festival will take place from 27 - 29 May 2016!

Swaziland Tourism, the tourism authority of Swaziland, just published an overview on the cultural festivals to be held in the country in 2015. If you are planning to visit Swaziland in January, March, May/June or August/September, you might get the chance to experience the country's (ancient) traditions first hand! Enjoy!

  • The Incwala Festival, also known as the "Festival of First Fruits" is known to be one of the biggest and most spectacular events in Africa. Swaziland's Big Incwala ceremony already took place between the 08 – 14 January 2015.
  • The Marula Festival (07 March 2015) is celebrated at the Royal Residence of the King at Hlane in the Lubombo Region of Swaziland. Both the King and the Queen Mother are presented with Marula beer from each household, in keeping with it being a "fruit fit for kings". Only afterwards can Swazis drink their home brew.
  • The MTN Bushfire Festival will take place from 30 May - 01 June 2015. This unique festival is one of the biggest and best of its kind in southern Africa, with everything from live music and theatre to film, workshops and a global food fair.
  • The Umhlanga/Reed Dance will take place in August or September 2015. Swaziland's best known cultural event is a coming together of the nations women to cut new reeds to present to the Queen mother. Over 40,000 young women take part in this visual spectacle, at the Royal Residence of the King. Dates for the event are announced relatively close to the time as the precise timing of the event is determined using ancestral astrology.

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