Eswatini Tourism, formerly Swaziland Tourism, has confirmed the dates of the 2018 Reed Dance. The biggest cultural event in Eswatini/Swaziland is set to start on 28 August 2018, with the main day (Day 7) set to take place on 03 September 2018. It will be on this day when the main ceremony occurs, with the dancing attended by King King Mswati III. 03 September 2018 will be a public holiday in Eswatini/Swaziland.
The Reed Dance ceremony, also known as "umhlanga", is a centuries old tradition where the Eswatini's/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 Eswatini/Swaziland, led by Swazi princesses, gather at the Queen Mother's royal village, the Ludzidzini Royal Residence in Lobamba,
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. King Mswati lll,
who sometimes makes use of the occasion to publicly court a prospective
fiancée, joins the celebrations to pay tribute to the maidens.