Umhlanga Reed Dance (Eswatini)

Umhlanga Reed Dance is a public holiday in Eswatini. Similar to Incwala Day, it is one of the important cultural events in the country. The festival lasts eight days and the King will present on the seventh day, which is also the most important day.

Umhlanga Reed Dance originates from the tradition for the annual repairs to the windbreaks of the royal residents with reeds. During the festival, thousands of young girls first gather at the Queen Mother's royal village (Ludzidzini Royal Village), and then they head to cut reeds. Some older girls may march 30 kilometers to get reeds while some young girls will march less.

Girls will cut and tie their reeds into a bundle and bring them back to the Queen Mother's village on the sixth day. After that, they start to sing and dance in the arena, which will last to the seventh day when the King will present.

Umhlanga Reed Dance celebration takes place around the end of August or early September, but the exact date will be released when it comes close because it is based on astrology.

The following is the list of Umhlanga Reed Dance in Eswatini from 2022 to 2026.

HolidayDate*Weekday
Umhlanga Reed DanceSep 05, 2022Monday
Umhlanga Reed DanceSep 04, 2023Monday
Umhlanga Reed DanceSep 02, 2024Monday
Umhlanga Reed DanceSep 01, 2025Monday
Umhlanga Reed DanceAug 31, 2026Monday

* The days are estimates and we will update when it is announced. Please check more public holidays in Eswatini:

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