Swaziland Festivals

Experiencing Swaziland’s rich culture and friendly people are highlights of a visit here. Travellers are welcome to watch some of the celebrations of the two main festivals.

Umhlanga, the animated Reed Dance ceremony, is Swaziland’s most famous festival. It takes place during the last week of August or first week of September when young women from around the country come here to participate in a joyful song and dance performance.

In December and January, Incwala is an impressive kingship ritual lasting about three weeks. At the beginning of the celebrations, representatives of the Bemanti people bring water from all the main rivers of Swaziland, gathered at the new moon.

Young men then build a royal kraal at Lobamba from branches of the lusekwane tree and other plants.

The climax is reached on the “great day,” when the king, clad in his finest robes, symbolically tastes the first fruits of the harvest followed by cheerful song and dance.