David Binder once said, “Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well-being. In short, they make cities better places to live”.

If Lamu Cultural festival is not one of the reasons why you want to be this November, i really don’t know what is.. This 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. Most visitors to the 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.

Each year, Lamu comes to life during the annual Festival. Several competitions and races are staged during this week long festival. These events are designed to each encourage local skills or practices that are central to Lamu life. These include traditional Swahili poetry, Henna painting and Bao competition… Bao is probably the oldest known game in human history, with archaeological evidence suggesting that the game has been played throughout Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years.

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.

Apart from all this, let’s not forget the food…..yum yum yum…indulge in different swahili dishes while you enjoy the festival. The biryani,Kaimati,Pilau,viazi karai, Bhajia,etc. No idea what these are? Come attend the festival nd learn all this and more. Learn some swahili words too 🙂 🙂 😉  this November.