Home to 70 different tribes – each with its own unique culture, Kenya is a popular East African country that celebrates several festivals and events reflecting the uniqueness of its art, fashion and food. Take a look at five of the most famed cultural events and festivals of Kenya you should not skip if you happen to visit the country during that time:
Marsabit Lake Turkana Festival
Held annually in Loiyangalani – a small town located on the south-eastern coast of Lake Turkana, Marsabit Lake Turkana Festival is a popular cultural event in Kenya. The festival is a fusion of 14 different communities, and is celebrated with the aim of overcoming stereotypes and creating a mutual understanding for the peaceful coexistence of different communities and tribes. It is usually held in the month of May with numerous folk performances and traditional dances that appeal to all sorts of visitors.
Lamu Cultural Festival
The most popular event of Kenya, Lamu Cultural Festival is held in Lamu – an ancient Swahili township renowned for its tradition and culture. This annual cultural festival is a celebration of both the past and the future, and gives people a chance to experience Lamu life at its most cheerful and to get an insight into the popular beliefs and practices of the Lamu people. It is held in November, and visitors can be a part of several activities during the celebration such as henna painting, Swahili poetry, donkey races and dhow sailing.
Maulidi Festival is another popular cultural festival in Lamu that is held during the third month of the Muslim calendar. Maulidi is the popular name given to Milad-un-Nabi; and this festival marks the birth of Prophet Mohammad bringing together a large number of Muslims from all over the world including East Africa and Middle East. It is a month-long celebration where visitors can indulge in various activities and events including henna competitions, swimming, donkey and dhow races and the famous tug of war game.
The Mombasa Carnival
The Mombasa Carnival or Mombasa Cultural Festival is a multi-cultural street party supposed to the biggest and most engaging festival of Kenya. It is held annually in the month of November in Mombasa, a multi-cultural hub in East Africa where you can discover the rich culture and heritage of the country. A number of traditional as well as contemporary artistes become a part of the celebration; and visitors can enjoy a fine mix of multicultural floats, dance performances and folk music along with colourful parades by the tribal communities.
Maralal Camel Derby
The best known and most prestigious camel race of Kenya, Maralal Camel Derby is a popular festival of the country held annually in Samburu and attended by visitors from different parts of the world. It is more than just a race; with an array of fun activities, it brings this small desert town to life. Each year a number of local as well as international competitors become a part of the festival. You would love to see the streets of Maralal brightening with camels and activities all throughout the celebration.