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Mwaka Kogwa

The traditional Shirazi or Persian New Year celebrations that take place in Zanzibar. Mwaka Kogwa is best observed at Makunduchi, a village in the south part of Zanzibar.

Activities included: Mwaka Kogwa includes specific rituals destined to bring good luck in the New Year. To initiate the celebration, a play fight takes place and all the men of the village beat each other to vent their aggression from the past year using banana stems. While men are fighting, the women sings traditional songs about family, love and joy. Then, the mganga, or traditional healer, lights a ritual hut on fire and reads which way the smoke is burning to determine the village’s prosperity in the coming year. Finally there is a large feast in which all guests are welcomed and considered as a sign of happiness and prosperity. Traditional Swahili food is accompanied by taarab music, and on the beaches the drums and dancing continue long into the night.

Time: The holiday is held every year around the third week of July

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