Compared to many other African nations, Mozambique isn’t inundated with festivals, traditional or otherwise, although new tourist-focused events are being introduced every year. Maputo is the hub for art exhibitions, music fests and local gatherings, with the Kulungwana Espaco Artistico and the Centro Cultural Franco Mocambicao worth checking out. New Year and Independence Day are everyone’s favorite excuse for a party.
One of the most-loved festivals in Mozambique is New Year's Eve, welcomed with sparkling lights, decorated buildings, street parties, and fireworks at midnight. It’s a great time to be here, with everyone joining in the fun.
International Labor Day
International Labor Day, a national holiday celebrated around the world and across Mozambique takes place on May 1 with marches, parades and a great deal of enthusiasm.
This annual open-air music festival is held in Maputo over three days in May, bringing together local and international bands performing for a number of attendees. Workshops, musical documentaries and craft and fashion shows take place against a background of street food and drink stalls.
The popular Subterranean Rhythm and Blues festival kicks off in Ponta Malongane along the border with South Africa every May, having grown from humble beginnings as a birthday bash eight years ago to a huge event featuring 20 live bands. Rock and roll, blues and fusions of the two are a highlight of the three-day event. Love, harmony, respect and a great beach party the day before kicks off the celebration.
Celebrated in Mozambique on June 25, Independence Day is the favorite of all national festivals. Maputo stages a fabulous concert at the stadium featuring celebrated Mozambican bands and cultural events involving the visual arts, music, dance and the iconic traditional poetry common to all African countries take place all over the country during the preceding week.
Tambo International Art Festival
July sees Pemba’s Tambo International Art Festival celebrate cultural diversity through a raft of music, dance and theater performances and art exhibitions. The Mozambique event lasts for a week and includes workshops for visitors as well as locals given by Pemba’s traditional craftsmen, women and international artists.
Chopi Music Festival
Held in Inhambane Province’s town of Quissico, this unique festival kicks off the end of July and continues into August with concerts of traditional, local Chopi music recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural property. Groups of players of the mbila (a form of xylophone) drums, rattles, pan pipes, and animal-horn trumpets give concerts to preserve the unique musical form.
The festive season in Mozambique is enjoyed by both Christians and those of other faiths with concerts, parties, music, and songs at large family get-togethers. The Catholic churches hold midnight masses and choirs fill the air with carols rich in glorious a-capella African harmonies.