There are not too many Uganda holidays or festivals that have made it past one or two years of the organization. The ones that are still going strong are predominantly focused on the country’s growing arts and music scene. Jazz and hip-hop are at the top of their game in Uganda and its festivals showcase this. Still, the biggest event by far is the Bayimba International Festival of Music and Arts, which showcases the country’s best music, dance, and theater. Let’s discover the festivals in Uganda here.
Festivals In Uganda
Festival of the Ugandan Martyrs
Every 3 June there is a festival to celebrate what is considered to be one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. Almost a million people attend, and a festival is a national event of such importance that it is covered by national television.
The Nile Festival
This celebration lasts a week and is one of the popular Ugandan festivals with the highest attendance. It takes place in early August in Jinja, and it centers on the rich and diverse cultures of the people that live on the shores of the River Nile.
Art and the cultural tradition of Uganda, as well as the cultures from the rest of Africa, mix to offer a great cultural program which is full of music, dance, theatre, folklore, storytelling, and gastronomy, as well as live shows. It also has a parade along the streets, children’s activities and dance workshops. It is, without doubt, a great opportunity to discover the tribes of the whole of Uganda from close up.
The Nile Gold Jazz Safari
This one-day event takes place every October in Kampala and musicians from all over the world take part. Each year there is a new list of interpreters. But one thing that is consistent each year is the music is fantastic.
The saxophones, bass, drums, keyboards, and pianos play for a growing audience of lovers of Ugandan jazz, and of course, for the visitors who are always welcome.
Amakula Kampala International Film Festival
Also known as the Amakula Kampala Cinema Caravan Festival, this festival moves around the country over a course of four months, from the beginning of September to the end of November. It showcases both old and new films that feature themes of independence and fall under one of five platforms, which include African Panorama, Highlights and Tributes, Regional Views, Landmarks and Contemporary World Cinema. It also offers workshops on film training and creating soundtracks for silent films.
Bayimba International Festival of Music and Arts
Each September, this popular three-day festival takes place at the Uganda National Theatre in Kampala’s city centre. The festival focuses on arts and culture in Uganda and is a must for all visitors hoping to learn more about the music and art scene of the country. This festival has grown to become the country’s number one festival, in which Kampala truly comes to life. The festival brings music, film, dance, theater, and visual arts together under one roof, and showcase not only local artists but those from other East African counties as well.
This Is Uganda Festival
This annual festival is to showcase the diverse cultures throughout Uganda through art, music, poetry and dance, with an emphasis on female artists. Each December thousands come to Kampala’s Kyandondo Rugby Club to watch some phenomenal live performances. The festival also has a lounge area where festival goers can socialize, as well as booths that promote woman’s rights, education and HIV/AIDS awareness.
Organised by Vision Group, the Twins festival is one of the biggest annual events, possibly because of the turn up it receives annually, this event usually takes place at Namboole Stadium and recently held its sixth edition that was also a great success.
Nyege Nyege festival
This is arguably the biggest music festival in East Africa, Nyege Nyege is a four-day music celebration that sees party people from across the continent. According to Nyege Nyege founder, this event stands for Peace, Love and abundant joy for underground music and musicians in Africa. The festival recently held its fifth edition at their usual venue ‘Nile Discovery Beach’ Jinja.
Ice-cream and cake festival
For three years now, the annual Ice cream and cake festival has always attracted a big attendance. This event brings together all local ice cream and cake producers, sellers, lover’s distributors, among others in one place. The event mainly features cake tasting, Cake display, meet the suppliers, cake eaters, cookies, bread among other stuff. It usually happens at Uganda Museum.