Lamu Cultural Festival is a celebration of both the past and the future, and the beliefs and traditions that are the heart and soul of the Lamu community. Every year Lamu comes to life during the Lamu Cultural Cultural Festival which is a three-day event highlighting Lamu’s heritage, as Kenyans come together to celebrate both the past, future, the beliefs and traditions that are the heart and soul of this community in the lovely enchanting island of Lamu. An ancient Swahili township, Lamu is a World Heritage site and the cultural festival offers an insight of how life in the old days was in terms of architecture and lifestyle. Most visitors to the Lamu Island fall in love with this relaxed and peaceful lifestyle, and visiting during the Lamu Cultural Festival is a chance to experience Lamu life at its most exuberant and joyous.
Several competitions and races are staged during this week long festival annually in November, with exciting activities such as traditional Swahili poetry, henna painting, donkey races and dhow sailing, culminating with a traditional Swahili wedding and a chance to enjoy various Swahili dishes. This annual festival gives one a chance to experience the traditional beliefs that are very deeply engraved with the locals and learn more about their simple and peaceful lifestyle.
A dhow race is also held, The town’s finest dhows are selected to compete, and race under sail through a complicated series of buoys, combining speed with elaborate tacking and maneuvering skill. Other events include swimming, and at times a challenging cross country race along the waterfront, all the way to Shela village and back- all in the physically draining heat of the day.
The real highlight of every festival involves the town’s most endearing symbol- the donkey race. Local donkey jockeys literally spend the entire year honing their riding skills for this event, and the winning rider wears his title with great pride. Being a winning donkey jockey requires a specific set of skills. As with most such races, small physical stature is helpful, but keeping a stubborn donkey moving and on course requires a definite talent.
This is a one of a lifetime event that will definitely be worth your time and money, and it promises a wonderful and exotic experience. Dont you dare miss out!!
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