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Umhlanga (Reed Dance) commemoration will take place from tomorrow. This is commemorated to preserve the tradition.

His Majesty King Mswati III ordered that a scaled back commemoration of the Reed dance ceremony be held from 2 – 6 September 2021 to preserve the tradition. The commemoration will be done under strict observance of the COVID-19 protocols.

Umhlanga (Reed Dance)

The reed dance is a spectacular annual event attracting multitudes of tourists to the Kingdom of Eswatini. Performing at the reed dance ceremony are thousands of Swazi maidens in their traditional attire. These Swazi girls come from various locations over the country and gather together for the ceremony. The Umhlanga Reed Dance occurs towards the end of the month of August. This event presents the maidens with an opportunity to pay honour to the Queen Mother. Only childless, unwed girls are permitted to take part in the event.
The main objectives of the ceremony are to firstly preserve girls’ virginity. This tradition is focused on encouraging young Swazi women to abstain from intimate relations and keep their virginity intact until they are considered old enough to be married. The second main objective is to provide tribute labour for the Queen mother. The reeds cut by the girls are taken back to the main Royal residence, and are used as wind breakers for the Queen mothers hut. The final aim of the ceremony is to promote a sense of unity and solidarity among the girls by making them work together.

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