Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa 2

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa – This 5-day lunar ritual takes place during the last full moon of each year at the royal residence of King Goodwill Zwelithini at Nongoma in Zululand. In 2018 this will be at Enyokeni Royal Palace from 19 -23 December.

The festival carries spiritual significance for the Zulu Nation and its inner workings remain shrouded in mystery. It is a time of cleansing and renewal. Local South African visitors and tourists are welcome but are excluded from some parts of the ritual.

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa – Historical Background

Previously known in history as Umkhosi Wokweshwama “First Fruits Festival” it has recently been changed to Umkhosi WoSelwa “Calabash Festival”. It was only revived by the current king, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu after the British colonial authorities banned the event after the Battle of Isandlwana (1879).

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa – Comparisons

The Royal Reed Dance, Umkhosi woMhlanga is primarily focused on the participation of women Umkhosi WoSelwa is for young men referred to as amabutho (warriors).

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa 5

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa – Events and Some Facts

  • The festival is preceded by a cultural tour in November when the King steps down from his throne and passes authority to the Queen (Unklunkulu). The King observes ceremonial rituals while in isolation during this period.
  • During the cultural tour period the ubutho is summoned to go to the sea to collect the fruit.
  • On the first three days besides being educated, junior ibutho collect umhlalajuba and imbondwe to be used when amaNdwanwe (regiment) renovate the kraal.
  • Women involved in agriculture in the surrounding areas bring produce of the early crops to the palace for the Kings blessing to obtain a good harvest.
  • There is a tasting ceremony after which the King strikes the calabash to signify that the people may now enjoy the fruits of the harvest.
  • A black fighting bull selected for the ceremony known as inkunzemnyama  is wrestled to death by the amaubutho in the Kings kraal.
  • The Ndwandwe regiment and the Royal family assemble to burn impepho (incence) and perform the burning of bones ritual.
  • In Swaziland the ceremony is known as Incwala.

For other cultural events, ceremonies and festivals in Zululand click here.

Learn everyday Zulu with Melusi Tshabala. 

Zulu First Fruits Cultural Festival Umkhosi WoSelwa

The WEB WRITER is certified with S.A.Tourism as a “South African Specialist”. This means they are experts in South African Travel and entitled to use the term and associated logo when giving advise.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!