Sunday, 18 December 2016

Lesotho Holidays and Festivals

Lesotho holidays are centered around
Christianity and the rich heritage and
culture of the country. There are also
celebrations of independence, and
events linked to the troubled times
leading up to the political stability of the
present day. The two favorites in all
Basotho are the Morija Arts and Cultural
Festival and King Moshoeshoe I's Day.

Moshoeshoe's Day

On March 11, Bosotho people get
together in celebration of the life and
reign of Moshoeshoe the Great,
Lesotho's first king who died in 1870. A
great leader and talented diplomat, the
king was responsible for the
preservation of much of the cultural
heritage still thriving today, as well as
the establishment of Christianity
through his welcoming of European
missionaries.

Family Day

Family Day in early March is a
celebration of one of the pillars of the
country's culture. Family get-togethers
involve workers returning to their
villages for the day to eat, drink and
have a great time.

Easter

Easter week, usually in April, is the
year's most important religious festival,
with all the usual parades, church
attendances and family get-togethers.
Most Basotho take their Christianity
very seriously, with Easter Sunday a day
of pure joy.

Morija Arts and Cultural
Festival

The favorite event in Lesotho, the Arts
and Cultural Festival, is held every
September or October for five days in
and around the capital. It is a feast of
theater, poetry, dance, music, song,
crafts, art exhibits, and everything in
between. The festival showcases
performances of jazz, modern music,
African movies, and much more, and
draws tens of thousands of visitors.

Independence Day

Independence Day, which falls on
October 4, celebrates the country's
release from British colonialism and its
emergence as a free state. The day is a
national holiday, celebrated all over the
little country with traditional events,
costumes, songs, dance, and musical
performances. The city streets and
villages come alive with revelers, while
the Lesotho Royal Family greets foreign
diplomats and important visitors from
other African countries.

Lesotho Jazz Festival

The Lesotho Jazz festival takes place in
the capital every December, attracting
musicians from other southern nations
as well as from all over Lesotho. Jazz is
popular all over Africa, with this event
focusing on music as an integral part of
social development. Set in the heart of
the tourist season, the event draws
spectators from many countries.

Christmas

Almost all Basotho are Christians, with
the faith's religious holidays celebrated
in true African fashion with church
services, family gatherings and the
glorious full-voiced African harmonies
used in full effect in a capella Christmas
hymns. Midnight mass on Christmas
Eve is a not-to-be-missed experience.

New Year

The welcoming of the New Year takes
place with typical African enthusiasm,
involving street celebrations, fireworks
at midnight and parties all over town.

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