Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has arrived in Nyanza District to officiate the Umuganura celebration, a Rwandan traditional Thanksgiving celebration of harvest and every achievement of the nation and its people.
Umuganura means ‘first-fruits festival’ and is dated back over a thousand years, it is a public holiday in Rwanda, observed on the first Friday of August. It is one of the most important festivals and holidays in Rwanda.
This year’s Umuganura is being celebrated at the Nyanza District Stadium and the theme is “Umuganura the source and foundation of Unity and self reliance”.
Despite its long history, Umuganura has only been a public holiday since 2011 as its celebration was suppressed during Rwanda’s colonial period.
The focus of the traditional Umuganura was to give the harvest the blessing of the ancestors, this would happen first at a family level focused on that family’s ancestors, then the community would come together to have a wider celebration.
Nowadays, while the festival is still seen as having a focus on the harvest – giving thanks for the current year and a time to think about how to improve future harvests, it is also an opportunity for a yearly celebration of achievements from all sectors that contribute to the development of the country.