01 August 2019

Eswatini: The dates of the Reed Dance 2019 have been announced!

Eswatini Tourism has confirmed the dates of the 2019 Umhlanga Reed Dance. The biggest cultural event in Eswatini is set to start on 27 August 2019, with the main day (Day 7) set to take place on 02 September 2019. It will be on this day when the main ceremony occurs, with the dancing attended by King King Mswati III. 02 September 2019 will be a public holiday in Eswatini.

eswatini, umhlanga, reed dance, king mswati iii, swaziland

The Reed Dance ceremony, also known as "umhlanga", is a centuries old tradition where the Eswatini'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, 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 fiancĂ©e, joins the celebrations to pay tribute to the maidens.

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