lamu festival preparations

Lamu Cultural Festival , after 3 years of disruption makes it’s way back this year, Timamy announced. It was founded in 2001 and the event is held annually mostly around November to celebrate the culture and Swahili heritage of the island. It also reflects the richness of Swahili culture. Lamu Cultural Festival events are supported by various international embassies and private sponsors. This festival has earned Lamu the name, Island of Festivals.

The festival is very popular with activities and events such as traditional Swahili poetry, henna painting, Bao competition probably the oldest known game in human history, with archaeological evidence suggesting that the game has been played for thousands of years throughout Africa and the Middle East. Donkey races are one of the most anticipated events and a real highlight. Local donkey jockeys literally spend the entire year honing their riding skills for this event, and the winning rider wears his title with great pride for the whole year.

donkey races lamu festival

In order to preserve and encourage the art of dhow sailing, a dhow race is held. The town’s finest dhows are selected to compete, and race under sail through a complicated series of buoys, combining speed with elaborate tacking and maneuvering skill. Culminating with a traditional Swahili weddings and a chance to enjoy various Swahili dishes.

dhow races in the lamu festival

The festival activities are spread over Manda Island, Lamu Old Town and Shela Village.  Shela is a Muslim village, so you have to wear clothing that goes below the knee and cover up your shoulders. Long dresses, silk or linen trousers and a silk shirt are good. If you are planning to make your way to Lamu for the Festival contact coral sea expeditions to assist you with planning the trip and accommodation ,All you have to do is show up and have the time of your life .

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