After the National Harvest Day (Umuganura) celebrations coincided with the presidential elections due August 4, the Ministry of Sports and Culture has decided to move the former to August 27.
This was confirmed in a statement from the ministry.
Normally, Umuganura is marked on the first Friday of August.
In a subsequent interview, Steven Mutangana, the director of culture promotion at the ministry, said this year’s Umuganura will be an opportunity to celebrate different achievements the country has registered over the past one year.
Umuganura is a traditional feast of first harvest that was widely observed in ancient Rwanda.
It was meant to assess the harvest and encourage residents to work harder for more harvest as well as an opportunity to foster social cohesion in communities.
Speaking to The New Times, Mutangana said the achievements to be recognised are mirrored in all national development pillars.
The theme of the 2017 Umuganura is ‘Umuganura, isooko y’ubumwe n’ishingiro ryo kwigira; loosely translated as ‘Umuganura, a source of unity and foundation of self-reliance’.
“As we celebrate the yields from different development sectors, we tell Rwandans that more efforts are needed to increase production, and combat poverty to continue on our journey to prosperity,” he said.
He also said that umuganura will also provide the opportunity to celebrate gains in good governance that has enabled smooth campaigns in run-up to the elections.
The ministry announced that the festivities will be preceded by Kigali-Up Festival on August 19-20 in Kigali, a musical event that will be attended by musicians from Rwanda and beyond.
There will also be an annual cultural party ‘I Nyanza Twataramye’ on August 26 before the celebration at the national level the following day, also to be held in Nyanza District.
Mutangana added that, apart from celebrations at the national level, the event will also be marked at the provincial level, village and family level as well as in Rwandan embassies abroad.