Cultural Ceremonies

Likumbi Lya Mize

The Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony of the Luvale speaking people of North western is one spectacular traditional event that draws tourists from within Zambia and Abroad. Every year in the month of August, Zambezi District of Northwestern Province of Zambia becomes a hive of activities as Luvale speaking people from all corners of Zambia converge and celebrate the Likumbi Lya Mize traditional ceremony.

The main attraction of the Likumbi Lya Mize ceremony is the Makishi Masquerades. The Makishi Masquerades are linked to the Mukanda, an initiation ceremony that recruits and trains boys for about six months to a year where they undergo several rites of passage into manhood.

This involves learning certain survival skills, hunting, learning about women, how to be a good husband and fatherhood.The Mukanda climaxes into the circumcision of initiates.This symbolize the passage into adulthood. The Luvale speaking people consider uncircumcised men as dirty or unhygienic.

Kuomboka Ceremony

The Kuomboka Ceremony is one of southern Africa’s few surviving ancient cultural customs. The ceremony is thought to be at least 300 years old. The ritual is held after the upper Zambezi River floods, and it is celebrated by the Lozi people of Western Zambia. The word Kuomboka means “to get out of the water,” and the ritual commemorates the Lozi king’s official relocation from his primary dwelling on the floodplains to his secondary residence on higher ground. The procession takes the king to the safety of higher ground, calling for everyone to follow. The Kuomboka Ceremony’s dates change each year depending on rainfall, and this year it will take place on April 9th, 2022.

Thousands of people line the Zambezi’s banks to witness the Chief and his entourage come past. In a frenzy of vivid colors, banging drums, and chanting voices, they go on board the Nalikwanda, a gigantic black and white ceremonial barge. According to legend, a man named Nakambela was commissioned by the High God Nyambe to build the big dug-out boat in order to avoid flooding. It was painted black and white, with the black representing the Lozi people and the white representing spirituality. The barge is powered by 180 royal paddlers, clad in traditional red siziba attire, creating an incredible sight.

A giant elephant statue and a fire are kept blazing on the barge to show observers that the king is in good health. It is rowed by around 100 men, and being an oarsman is seen as a tremendous honor. Three massive royal battle drums, estimated to be over 170 years old, are beaten by royal drummers. A second boat, decked with a statue of a beautiful crowned crane, transports the Litunga’s wife. In a stunning show, smaller boats join the procession, traveling in alternate loops on either side of the major barges.

Kulamba Traditional Ceremony

The Kulamba Traditional Ceremony is celebrated by the Chewa speaking people in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Ngoni people, who have roots in Zulu culture, have been transmitting this ceremony to the current generations. The Gule Wamkulu of blessing traditional celebration is greatly enhanced by the presence of Nyau-masked dancers, which are believed to be spirits from beyond. They celebrate their history and culture with a Kulamba Ceremony, eastern province in honor of Paramount Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi. It is an awe-inspiring dancing and gathering that bridges traditions across borders.

Every year, the Chewa people of Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique come together to celebrate their heritage through the Kulamba Ceremony – a vibrant traditional festival and cultural event. It is usually held in August or September to mark the end of the agricultural season and pays homage to the ancestors’ spirits in the eastern province.

Visitors enjoy and reflect on safari with a unique ceremonial experience and proceed to the South Luangwa National Park, followed by a memorable beach holiday at Lake Malawi. If you are passionate about African culture, history, and spirituality, then don’t miss the opportunity to attend the Kulamba Ceremony in Zambia. An experience like no other!