Swaziland prepares for the 2017 Reed Dance

Swaziland Reed DanceBy GIFT NDOLWANE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PREPARATIONS for the Reed Dance, the Kingdom of Swaziland’s largest cultural festival, are at an advanced stage.
Also known as the Umhlanga, it is set to take place from August 29.
The main day (Day Seven) is scheduled for September 4.
Filled with song and dance, and attended by the King, the main day which is also a public holiday in Swaziland, draws crowds from near and far to celebrate and share in all the festivities.
With traditions dating centuries back, the Reed Dance ceremony is an amazing spectacle. It is during this ceremony that the Kingdom’s unmarried and childless females present their newly cut reeds to the Queen Mother to protect her residence.
From time to time, the King makes use of the occasion to publicly court a prospective fiancée or Liphovela.
Residents of this mountainous Kingdom are immensely patriotic about their culture and taking part in this festival is a proud and privileged moment for the entire family.
The highlight of the event is the reed-giving ceremony – one of Africa’s largest and most vibrant cultural sights.
The maidens gather at Ludzidzini dressed in traditional attire; bright short beaded skirts with colourful sashes dancing, singing and celebrating the unification of the Kingdom’s women. His Majesty King Mswati lll joins these celebrations to pay tribute to the maidens.
At the end of the day, once all the maidens have presented their cut reeds, the rebuilding of the protective Guma (reed fence) around the Queen Mother’s homestead can begin.
The Umhlanga Festival bonds this small yet perfectly formed nation together.Up to 40 000 girls take part, dressed up in brightly coloured attired – making it one of the biggest and most spectacular cultural events in Africa.
Its ever- increasing popularity defies the apparent decline of traditional cultures elsewhere in Africa.
CAJ News

Short URL: http://cajnewsafrica.com/?p=21922

Posted by on Aug 17 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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