The Tourism of Eswatini Authority reported on their website that the annual traditional Marula Festival, or Buganu Festival as it is known locally has grown by popular demand.
The festivities take place this weekend at the Buhleni Royal Residence which started on the 7th and will run till the 9th of February. The festival is increasing in popularity, and becoming one of the country’s most exciting traditional ceremonies.
Each year King Mswati III and Her Majesty the Indlovukazi, the Queen Mother, make their way to various regions of the Kingdom to celebrate the beginning of the Marula Season.
The Marula season begins each year in mid February and continues until May, bringing with it a celebration of the harvest of the Marula fruit. Once the green fruits fall to the ground, women and children gather and store them until they ripen to a creamy yellow colour. The fruits are then placed into water, sugar is added and it is fermented, and distilled into a beer. This potent alcoholic mixture is called buganu, or Marula beer.
The largest of these festivals is held at the royal residence at Buhleni where the royal family join the nation in song and dance. Although the Marula Fruit is found widely throughout Africa, it is most popular in Eswatini. Seen by the emaSwati (people of Eswatini) as much more than a food source, the Marula is rather regarded as a magical healing ingredient, with huge fertility properties. The King and Queen mother are presented with Marula gifts and some Marula beer from each household. Only after the royal family has had some of the beer, is the rest of the nation permitted to join in and drink as well.
Because of its many uses, the Marula fruit is no longer just used to brew beer in Eswatini. It has been further developed into beauty products as part of Her Majesty, The Indlovukazi’ s job creation and poverty alleviation initiatives for rural women in Eswatini. Several families in Eswatini have benefited from this initiative.
The Marula products are produced under a company called Swazi Secrets. The fruit has been developed into many different beauty products. These products also come in hotel packages and gift packages. For more information about these products visit: www.swazisecrets.com