Rwanda celebrates Umuganura today

Umuganura is celebrated in a bid to promote the Rwandan culture of valuing and celebrating achievements and crop yields from the country’s soil.
Officials give milk to children during Umuganura ceremonies in Nyanza District last year. Sam Ngendahimana.

Today, all roads will lead to Nyanza District, Southern Province as Rwandans celebrate the National Harvest Day.

And, for those who cannot make it, the celebrations will be at the sector and village levels across the country.

Umuganura is a day of Thanksgiving – to appreciate the year’s achievements.

Umuganura is celebrated in a bid to promote the Rwandan culture of valuing and celebrating achievements and crop yields from the country’s soil.

In ancient Rwanda, Umuganura was one of the most important ceremonies feted by Rwandans at the beginning of every harvest season.

The festivities were an occasion to celebrate the country’s achievements in terms of harvest both at the kingdom and family levels.

Today, Umuganura has a broader meaning: it has evolved to become a national festival to celebrate the country’s achievements in line with its vision for a more cohesive, united, peaceful and prosperous future.

It is also an opportunity to think of new ways to attain sustainable development. Umuganura festival, at the national level, is marked by processions and march-pasts, parades and fashion shows, as well as a set of traditional games.

Umuganura is celebrated every first Friday of the month of August and it is a public holiday in Rwanda.

This year’s festivities were merged with the 10th edition of the Pan African Dance Festival (FESPAD) hosted under the theme “Culture and source of unity and foundation of self-reliance.”

The objective of the five-day dance festival, which started on July 29, is to bring together Africans to promote the culture of peace through African traditional dances, according to the Ministry for Sports and Culture.

The African Union entrusted Rwanda with the hosting and organisation of the biannual festival. The festival brings together African cultures celebrated through traditional dances during a five days period.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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