Home to 70 different tribes – each with its own unique culture, Kenya is an East African country where you can experience aboriginal tribal culture. The country celebrates many cultural events and festivals all throughout the year that are a wonderful treat to be a part of.
Here’s the list of a few of them:
Lamu Cultural Festival
Lamu Cultural Festival is the most popular event of Kenya celebrating both the past and the present beliefs and practices of the Lamu Community. An ancient Swahili township, Lamu is a famous world heritage site in the country known for its rich tradition and culture. The festival is celebrated in November every year and is visited by many people to get an insight into the popular beliefs and practices of the Lamu people. Activities like Swahili poetry, henna painting, donkey races, and dhow sailing are the major draws of the festival.
The Mombasa Carnival
Believed to be the biggest and the most engaging festival of Kenya, the Mombasa Carnival celebrates the traditions and ethnicity of tribes in the country. The event is celebrated in Mombasa, a prominent cultural hub in East Africa and is held annually in the month of November. You can enjoy here colourful parades by the tribal communities along with a number of multicultural floats, folk music and dance performances. There are many stalls as well where visitors can buy a wonderful range of items such as woodcarvings, bootlegged reggae CDs and more.
Marsabit Lake Turkana Festival
Known to be one of the most popular cultural events in Kenya, Marsabit Lake Turkana Festival is a fusion of 14 different communities drawing a large number of visitors from different parts of the world. The festival is usually held in the month of May, and aims at overcoming stereotypes and creating a mutual understanding for the peaceful coexistence of different communities and tribes. You can enjoy numerous folk performances and traditional dances throughout the festival.
Lamu’s another popular cultural festival, Maulidi Festival is celebrated on every third month of the Muslim calendar. Marking the birth of Prophet Mohammad, the festival has been celebrated on the island for more than 100 years and draws thousands of Muslims from all over the world including East Africa and Middle East. Visitors can indulge in various activities and events here such as swimming, donkey and dhow races, henna competitions and the famous tug of war game.
Maralal Camel Derby
An annual event held midyear just outside of Maralal town, Maralal Camel Derby is gradually becoming a popular festival drawing people from different parts of the world. It is the most popular and prestigious camel race festival of Kenya that draws both local and international competitors, and is a major draw for spectators as well as racers. Every year the festival brightens the streets of Maralal with camels and activities. It is more than just a race bringing the small desert town to life with its lively vibe.