Events, Festivals & Happenings on Lamu Island
If you want to try and coincide your stay at Deuli House with a special event that's happening on the island, here are some forthcoming ideas to consider:
9 & 10 November 2019: Maulid Festival
Marking the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, this annual festival has been celebrated on the island for over 100 years and much singing, dancing and general jollity takes place around this time - with the main religious celebrations taking place in and around the Riyadha Mosque on the edge of Lamu Town. The festival brings visitors and pilgrims to Lamu from far afield for recitals of praise poems, music and dances, calligraphy and art exhibits, dhow and donkey races, swimming competitions and many other activities.
New Year's Eve 2020 in Shela: Party Time!
Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Shela is not exactly a festival, but it feels pretty much the same. The village is full of people and everywhere there is a party. The Muslims commemorate the end of the year with various and colourful weddings and visitors are warmly welcomed to join as guests.
New Year's Day 2020: Dhow Sailing Regatta
Organized on the Lamu island yearly, the dhow competition attracts many eager visitors. Dhow is an ancient boat that looks amazing when sailing with African winds in the waters of the Indian ocean. The event is a highlight of New Year festivities on the island and is accompanied by parties and celebrations that last all the way into the night.
13 February 2020: Lamu Hat Festival
Forget haute couture, Shela presents Hat Couture! The contest started in 2010 and has now established itself as a biannual event which takes place on the beach in front of the legendary Peponi Hotel. The challenge is to design hats from used materials such as pipes, bones, shells, palm leaves, plastic, fabrics, coral and paper from cement bags. The competition aims to give locals a fun opportunity to express their ingenuity and creativity – and be rewarded for it. So, sorry, no tourists are allowed to enter! The following day - Valentines Day - the “Mad-Hatters” dhow race will be celebrated from Peponi Beach, Shela.
23-26 February 2020: Lamu Painters' Festival
The Lamu Painters Festival is an event that brings artists from Europe and Africa to Lamu. The participating artists come to paint the landscapes of the island - employing abbreviated details and unusual compositions to catch the moment and feeling of a place, usually on canvas.
4-8 March 2020: 7th Lamu Yoga Festival
In March 2019, the festival attracted 400 participants for 5 days. In 2020, there will be 30 teachers from literally all over the world who will come for 6 nights. The Lamu Yoga Festival Pass for 5 days inclusive, Swahili diner, Sunset meditation, Opening and Closing celebrations, Present, Giftbag, Bazaar and more than 150 workshops will cost only US$175. Find out more by visiting lamuyoga.org
23 May 2020: Eid al-Fitr
Eid al-Fitr, also called Feast of Breaking the Fast, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims on Lamu and worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.
November 2020: Lamu Cultural Festival
Lamu Cultural Festival is held in November each year to promote Swahili culture and heritage. With donkey and dhow racing, swimming, dancing and traditional craft displays, including carving, dhow-building, embroidery and henna decoration – all of it fairly competitive – the festival engages the town for the best part of a week. Dates to be confirmed.