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24

February
2017
wazonmitmusik2131812

Swakopmunder Musikwoche: Bridging the Gap

Located on the edge of the torrid Namib Desert where Antarctic currents and strong winds cool down the Atlantic Ocean on the coast, the German-named coastal Namibian town, Swakopmund is the venue of an interesting musical festival Swakopmunder Musikwoche seeking to bridge the rift between blacks and whites from an old backdrop of apartheid and …

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10

February
2017
International-Roots-Festival-Gambia

International Roots Festival (Gambia)

The end is better than the beginning of a thing, the popular saying goes. Which is why in spite of the horrors that form the historical background of the events of which gave birth to the International Roots Festival, the festival itself has become a celebration in commemoration of a homecoming and a return to …

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3

February
2017
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Festival: THAIPOOSAM CAVADEE, Mauritius

Mauritius is quite some kind of a multicultural melting pot, with a curious blend of Indian, Chinese, British, French, and African influences. Peaceful coexistence among the people has created a friendly society, while the diversity has added color to the continent through various cultural activities and religious festivals. Thaipoosam Cavadee is one of the most popular …

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27

January
2017
mwakakogwa1

Festival: MWAKA KOGWA, Zanzibar

Settling Scores with Banana Stems! The ushering in of a New Year in many parts of the world is often marked with great fanfare and festivities as the people look forward with excitement and great expectations that the coming year will be a lot better than the previous one. These festivals usually feature music, dancing, ...

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20

January
2017
Mombasa-Carnival

Mombasa Carnival: A Multi-Cultural Street Party

If you know the history of Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city, then you will be able to understand and appreciate its rich multicultural diversity. Persians, Chinese, Arabians, Portuguese, Indians, and Europeans have made contact with and left their cultures and imprints on Mombasa. Throw into the mix the local African culture, then you can begin to ...

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4

January
2017
zambia2

Likumbi Lya Mize, Zambia: Rites of Passage

They are an interesting tribe and part of a Bantu people believed to have made their way from Cameroon to the area around the Upper Zambezi. Renowned as fishermen and peripatetic by nature, the Baluvale or Luvale people settled in northwestern Zambia and are one of the first tribes in Zambia to establish trade links ...

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3

January
2017
Children in Christmas holiday costume
SHARE assignment: s081204-4 - Photo Feature
Africa
digital
color
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Genna: An Ethiopian Christmas in January!

No. It’s not a mere spillover from the yuletide festivities that characterizes December, or a figurative expression of some random joyous occasion merely evoking the merry feeling of Christmas. It is very much the celebration of the real thing, as much as December 25 celebration is. Genna or Ethiopian Christmas takes place in the month of …

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15

December
2016
one-of-the-performing-masquerades-at-the-arondizuogu-festival-in-lagos-on-easter-sunday

Ikeji Festival of Arondizuogu (Imo State, Nigeria)

Nothing depicts a people’s way of life explicitly like the celebration of a cultural festival. Within the time frame of the celebrations, vital components that form the worldview of the people are usually put on display via various cultural acts like energetic dancing, loud music and drumming. These celebrations are often amplified with colorful costumes, ...

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9

December
2016
St Helena Carnival6

FESTIVAL – Saint Helena Carnival

Started as a charity aid to raise funds for a particular cause, Saint Helena Carnival is conducted every two years and comprises of funfare, street parades, music and dancing, and of course eating! The 2014 edition was in aid of Cancer Relief. It is regarded as the best and biggest festival of the island with …

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2

December
2016
sakifo-2015-11

SAKIFO Music Festival: For a Musical Satisfaction

With four centuries of diverse history and migration from all corners of the earth, Réunion Island (Île de la Réunion) is an interesting cultural melting pot, blending African, European, Indian, Chinese, Comorian and Malagasy cultures together to create a mini-rainbow nation. Perhaps this cultural harmony and blend of varying ethnicities and religious beliefs is best exemplified ...

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25

November
2016
reed-dance

Festival: uMkhosi Womhlanga: Zulu Reed Dance

You must have heard about the Reed Dance, right? Known in Swaziland as Umhlanga and held usually in late August or early September. Well, it just so happens that the Swazis are not the only ones who have such an exotic festival involving the celebration of chastity among young maidens. While Umhlanga dates back to the ...

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18

November
2016
Fetu Afayhe 2

Oguaa Fetu Afahye Festival, Cape Coast

Purifying the New Year There is more to Cape Coast than the haunting memories of African sons and daughters stored in slave castles before being sardine-packed in slave ships across the Atlantic off to the Americas. Yes, it is pretty much a relaxed community, but Cape Coast comes pretty much alive for the celebration of ...

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4

November
2016
angola-festival

Angola Carnival

Much like the famous Brazilian and Caribbean carnivals and several other fanfare celebrations across the globe patterned and structured after them, especially in former colonies of Portugal, the Angola Carnival has Portuguese influence and connection to the Lenten season. The unwritten code is that the timing of these is to indulge themselves in raucous revelry ...

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28

October
2016
Brazza1

Festival: LES FEUX DE BRAZZA (The Lights of Brazzaville)

You will be forgiven if you arrived in Brazzaville with an expectation to see the city’s skyline lit up with an explosive and dazzling fireworks display at night during the celebration of  Festival: Les Feux de Brazza. Indeed the name “Feux de Brazza” (Lights of Brazzaville) seems to suggest that, but instead of dazzling pyrotechnic displays, ...

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21

October
2016
MorijaArtsCulturalFestival5

MORIJA FESTIVAL, Lesotho: Unity in Diversity

Different festivals and celebrations from different places across the globe have different origins. Some are old with their roots steeped in ancient rites and mysticism passed down from generations to generations, while others are relatively modern; inspired by a yearning need to foster unity among the people by exploring their cultural heritage. The latter is ...

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23

September
2016
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Ghardaïa National Carpet Festival, Algeria

Roll Out the Carpets! Located about 600km south of Algiers, the capital city of Algeria, Ghardaïa is the chief town of the five that make up the M’zab Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in the 11th century and built around the cave reputedly inhabited by the female saint Daïa, Ghardaïa lies along the ...

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16

September
2016
culture

Festival: Auto De Floripes (Sao Tome and Principe)

Discovered in 1475, the exotic São Toméan archipelago stands out as a beautiful and enchanting tropical paradise in the Atlantic Ocean off the West African coast. Portuguese influence from its colonial past is a dominant feature in its socio-cultural life, and it can be seen in its various celebrations. Without a doubt, the most original ...

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9

September
2016
mbour-festival

Festival des Cultures de M’Bour (FESCUM) Senegal

While several festivals have been staged from ancient times often as a cultural practice, either to supplicate the gods and ancestors for favors, celebrate the harvest, or serve as a rites of passage for the admission of young people into the adult society; many of these have evolved into cultural showpieces and spectacles, with the ...

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2

September
2016
Day 2_2015 (6)

Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival: A Wine Revolution!

The Soweto Wine & Lifestyle Festival is perhaps the most successful trend-setting annual event hosted in Soweto, Johannesburg, and a must-attend on the annual South African wine calendar. Already over a decade old, the idea for a wine festival in Soweto was conceived over a braai in Pretoria between two neighbors back in 2004. Lyn ...

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5

August
2016
CarnavalSaoVicente1

Festival Carnaval de São Vincente

It is not hard to see the Brazilian influence in the Carnaval de São Vincente. The Portuguese discovered the islands that make up Cape Verde uninhabited in the latter half of the 15th century and began to populate it with various kinds of people they forcefully took there. In a sense, the islands became laboratories …

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29

July
2016
Wika Carnival Windhoek12

Wika, Carnival, Windhoek

Made In Germany, Born In Africa Located in the Khomas Highland plateau area at 1,700 meters above sea level, Windhoek is the capital city and heart of Namibia. Windhoek’s harmonious blend of European and African cultures, coupled with the friendly disposition of its people gives it a unique charm and makes it an apt choice ...

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22

July
2016
MekatililiWaMenza-(1)

Mekatilili Wa Menza Festival, Kenya: In Honor of a Heroine

Every society has its hero. An individual who has exhibited a certain quality which the society recognizes as being exemplary and of great benefit to its preservation. In remembrance of such a hero or heroine, society often dedicate certain honor to preserve their legacy, so that future generations can be inspired. Mekatilili Wa Menza festival is …

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19

July
2016
A man dressed up as a Voodoo Idol walks the streets before the start of the annual festival at the weekend

The Vibes of 2016 Voodoo Festival

Africa is blessed with rich cultural diversity, little wonder why on this continent; there is always a reason to party; from celebrating crops—e.g. new yam festival in Nigeria to music—as in Senegal, and to religious ones, there is never a boring or dull moment on this continent. So it was on Sunday, January 10, when …

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24

June
2016
GunguFestival51

Le Festival National de Gungu (FESNAG): A Right to Celebrate

It is true that most festivals are usually born as a celebration of people’s way of life, traditions, cultural values and sometimes religious beliefs. Yet sometimes, the inspiration for a festival evolves from certain situations that serves as a memorial to a significant event, and with time the celebration grows bigger as the years roll …

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