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Swaziland: Incwala A Huge Success
December saw thousands descend on Swaziland to become part of the Incwala ceremony, one of the country’s most sacred events. For the Swazi people it is an important religious ritual, a fertility ceremony designed to both prepare for the coming year and serve as a symbolic renewal of the monarchy.
Over the years, the Incwala has done more than just unite the Swazi nation; it has brought communities together, with common goals; to see a country that has held onto its system of monarchy and culture, as well as to participate in the colourful, memorable traditions of Swaziland. This year was no exception with nearly 34,000 tourists entering the country to attend the event.
Split across five days, highlights included a 50km march by Swazi men from the royal residence to cut branches from the sacred Lusekwane shrub, a large traditional dance joined by the king, and a final communal fire signifying the end of the old season and welcoming a new prosperous one to come.
This year tourists came from as far as Japan, Germany, Finland, Sweden and the UK as well as a mix of visitors from neighbouring South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Kenya.
The Swazi Village found at Ludzidzini Royal Residence was also a hive of activity as tourists came in large number to learn more about the Swazi culture, as well as to experience the event
Festivals like this continue to play a great importance in the Swazi culture, but a growing bi-product of such age old traditions like Incwala is tourism – and as always Swaziland welcomes this with open arms and a friendly greeting for all.