Mwaka Kogwa Festival

Bio

A four-day-long celebration, Mwaka Kogwa is best observed at Makunduchi, a village in the south part of Zanzibar. The origins of this holiday are Zoroastrian (a Persian religion older than Islam). It is a celebration of the Shirazi New Year and some of the events include the burning of the hut and mock fights. These fights are between men who defend themselves with banana stems (in place of the sticks that were formerly used), and this fighting, in which everyone gets a chance, is said to let everyone air their grievances and so clear the air as the new year rolls in.

As the men fight, the women stroll through the fields singing songs about life and love. They are dressed in their best clothes and taunt the men after the fight is over. The festivities vary from village to village but Makunduchi is where the biggest events take place. All are welcome for the festival because it is a local belief that anyone without a guest for this holiday is unhappy. The holiday is held every year around the third week of July.

TZZanzibar, Tanzania

Contact

Mwaka Kogwa
Profile added by Stanley Gazemba on 16 Jan 2015