Zanzibar Cultural Day
The Festival takes place at 19th of July in each year. A Zanzibar Cultural Day, it is marked by cultural dances, road shows, Taraab Performances, exhibitions, art and craft and the likes. Drawing participants from many countries such as Mozambique, Kenya, Comoro, Germany, China, India etc. Zanzibar Cultural Festival has become very popular in Zanzibar and East.
This is a four days celebration which takes place at the end of Ramadhan, the month of fasting and it is the biggest and the most respected of all festivals in Zanzibar. Also known as Eid or Sikukuu (days of celebration, festival or holiday), this festival is a time of gift giving and of giving alms. The fasting of Ramadhan is meant to remind people what life is like for their less fortunate brethren and the alms giving at Eid (known as Zakat-el-Fitr) is a continuation along the same idea. Both fasting and the giving of alms are two of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Because the Islamic calendar is different from that of Christians, the dates for Ramadhan and Eid change every year by about 11 days. The festival is observed with great enthusiasm and pomp in the island. The islanders are in a merry-making mood and this is a time for visiting relatives and friends. Eid is a nice time to see all the little girls in their new dresses and the boys in their new sneakers. The girls wear kohl around the eyes regardless of age, and the boys run around firing cap guns. There is a general feeling of celebration as people go from house to house visiting friends and relatives, preparing traditional Muslim food and attend Taarab concerts and discos at night.
A four-day-long celebration, Mwaka Kogwa is best observed at Makunduchi, a village in the southern part of Zanzibar. The origins of this event is Zoroastrian (a Persian religion older than Islam). It is a celebration of the New Year and some of the events include huge bonfires and mock fights. These fights are between men who defend themselves with banana stems (in place of the sticks that were formerly used), and this fighting, in which everyone gets a chance, is said to let everyone air their grievances and so clear the air as the new year rolls in. As the men fight, the women stroll through the fields singing songs about life and love. They are dressed in their best clothes and are taunted by the men - and hurl good-natured insults in return - after the fight is over. The festivities vary from village to village but Makunduchi is where the biggest events take place. The festival takes place at the end of July.
Sauti za busara festival
"sounds of wisdom" swahili music & cultural festival. a 3-day cultural extravaganza of music, theatre and dance. the theme of this new, dynamic festival on the african cultural calendar is swahili encounters, focusing in showcase a diversity of performing arts which are all rooted in swahili language and traditions. modern and traditional styles, both religious and secular will be represented, alongside exciting new fusions.
Zanzibar International Film Festival(ZIFF)
ZIFF presents the annual Festival of the Dhow Countries during the first two weeks of July. The festival celebrates the arts and cultures of the African continent, the Gulf States, Iran, India, Pakistan and the islands of the Indian Ocean, collectively known as the Dhow countries. The centre piece of the festival is a film programme consisting of both competition and non-competition screenings. Fiction and documentary film and video productions compete for Golden and Silver Dhow Awards. While competition films are limited to productions with Dhow country connections, the festival programme includes films/videos from all over the world addressing themes which reflect concerns within the Dhow countries. Activities and events include music, theatre and dance performances, workshops and exhibitions. A large music programme also runs for the festival featuring artists from Tanzania alongside international acts. Many of these events are staged in Old Fort (Ngome Kongwe) and Forodhani Gardens and free to the public. There are also workshops and seminars for women and children, and Village Panoramas which reach about forty villages across the Zanzibar islands of Unguja and Pemba.
Bullfighting is a popular, traditional and annual sport in Pemba Island. Pemba bullfights are relic of Portuguse occupation of the island, which occurred during the16th and17th centuries. Drum beats, men and women sing local songs to make the event lively and spur on both bull and manador
On the actual fight, the bull is brought to the small platform where women sing and clap their hands to arouse the bull’s anger. A special traditional trumpet is sounded adjacent to the ears of the bull for the same purpose. Then the bull is set free into the ground having one rope at its neck for emergence.. The man on the ground who want to fight the bull take a piece of mat, and as the bull moves head fast to him, he plays it off and the whole ground applaud. When one bull becomes tired it is replaced by another and sometime the whole fight may involve 4 to 6 bulls.
Unlike bullfighting elsewhere, in Zanzibar at the end of the fight the bull remains a live and is trained for the forthcoming game. Visitors can watch bull fight if they are lucky enough there is no specific dates when the bullfighting’s are organized but the hottest time of the year. This between August and February. But some times it is done after clove harvesting or during the state ceremony such as Revolutionary Day of Zanzibar.
Zanzibar international Triathlon and Marathlon (ZIM)
ZIM is organised on the first and second Sundays of November respectively each year. The Triathlon involves 1.5 kilometres of swimming in the Indian Ocean 20 kilometres of running through spicy plantation track, 10 kilometres of running through the alleys of the Old Stone Town. Marathon on the other hand is running only on the 42.195 kilometres track. Both events are governed by 1AAF and AIMS regulations.
Participants come mainly from Europe particularly Italy and Germany. Others are Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Slovania, South Africa, The Netherlands etc. For the 1998 records are Triathlon is 2 hours 30 minutes, Marathon is 2 hours 18 minutes