The MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mrs Mathabo Leeto will host the celebration of the African New Year at the Basotho Cultural Village, Qwa Qwa.
The African New Year celebration is celebrated after the last days of Mariha/winter.
This is to give way to new life after the dry season, which is after winter in Central South Africa. The African new year start therefore in August/Phato, known for the blowing winds, clearing Mother Earth and refreshing the ground with showers of Spring.
Africans or Basotho in particular, did not follow the Gregorian calendar, but rather relied on the position of the moon, the natural indicator of seasonal rotation. As most of us have observed, the full moon occurred from the 3rd to the 4th of July, a period characterised in Sesotho as “Ha kgwedi e toloka”.
To mark the African New Year, fields are ploughed, and the very first harvest is brought as an offering to Tlatlamatjholo/God.
The celebration will feature arts and crafts exhibitions, horse demonstrations, cultural performances as well as presentations on traditional harvesting methods.
Date: 2 August 2014
Venue: Basotho Cultural Village – Qwaqwa
Most of the cultural groups attending the African New Year Celebration will be from
Fouriesburg, Clarens, Bethlehem, Kestell, Harrismith and Qwaqwa.
The event’s highlight is the parade composed of cultural practitioners, men on horseback as well as drum majorettes.
The Free State Province is rich in its unique and diverse cultures which will be witnessed in this African New Year Celebration. Although Sesotho dances will be the majority on the performance list, Tswana Dance, Afrikaans “Volkspele” and Zulu Dance groups will also be featured during the celebration.
“This celebration speaks to our quest to promote social cohesion by embracing all cultures. It also deepens our drive towards cultural self-awareness in our communities. Only when communities are aware of their history and cultural identities can we be able to build a better society”, MEC Leeto declared.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS