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Holidays and Festivals in Mozambique
Mozambique has a number of public holidays each year and these are divided into national and regional holidays. Being such a religiously diverse country, you don’t mind that many religions have their officially recognized holy days, although followers of some faiths still observe these days. The number of public holidays in a calendar year is slightly lower than in other African countries and is what one would expect in an international context.
Mozambique has 9 nationally recognized public holidays each year, all of which are on fixed dates each year.
January 1 – New Year’s Day.
February 3 – Heroes Day. Commemorates fallen heroes in the struggle to gain independence from Portugal.
April 7 – Women’s Day
May 1 – Workers’ Day
June 25 – Independence Day. Celebrating the day Mozambique officially gained independence from Portugal.
September 7 – Victory Day. Commemorates the day independence was originally agreed with Portugal.
September 25 – Revolution Day
October 4 – Day of Peace and Reconciliation
December 25 – Christmas Day
Mozambique is not well known for its festivals, although with a bit of effort you can discover some interesting activities. Although most festivities are music-based, there are also smaller performing arts festivals.
Some of the most popular festivals include:
AZGO-Festival. This annual music festival normally takes place in May every year in the capital Maputo. All musical genres are represented as well as documentaries and some workshops.
STRAB Festival. Another music festival that takes place in May, STRAB is a rhythm and blues experience held in Malongane near the South African border.
Independence Day. This holiday is traditionally celebrated with a variety of festivities ranging from live performances to traditional dancing. Other cultural events also take place and this day is characterized by a festive atmosphere.
TAMBO International Art Camp. Hosted in the city of Pemba, this festival is normally held in July every year and celebrates a variety of performing arts. This event sometimes attracts international artists, but the majority are local.
CHOPI Music Festival. Held annually towards the end of July, this music festival takes place in Quissico. This particular festival is of great interest as it is organized to celebrate the traditional music of Mozambique and as such is a very good cultural experience.
FORR-Festival. This is a new festival that was only recently created and is supposed to host rock bands. Dates and locations are not fixed and change from time to time, so it is best to check with local suppliers for details on this.
Since the different religions are all roughly equal in representation, you will find that each group observes its own religious days. It is worth being aware of these particular days as this will affect the availability of certain services.
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