Conventional foods from various ethnic groups are showcased during this cultural event. Traditional dances and music programmes are also organised and people participate in these with great enthusiasm.
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Music and Food Festivals

The Ministry of Education organises drama and music festivals for primary and secondary schools where traditional dances and folk music is performed. This event is held at different levels usually during the second term of the academic year which falls between the months of May to July each year. The general public is invited. Other educational institutions like colleges and Universities are also involved.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and National Heritage, through its Department of Culture organises a Cultural Music Festival annually; whose patron is the Head of State. This is specifically for non-educational institutions like Government departments, parastatals, and local clubs. The event is held at each province every October and at national level for a week at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre usually in August. During the event, traditional dances, acrobatics, folk music, etc., are performed.

Winners make their presentations at State House to the President and become Kenya's cultural choir the whole of the year where they are invited during national holidays and functions to entertain the public.

During this cultural festival, traditional foods from different ethnic groups are exhibited. Besides these traditional food exhibitions, internationally recognised cuisine and food specialities are organised for food exhibitions by interested hotels whose restaurants specialise in that cuisine, and co-sponsored by key industry players; both private and public. These do not have regular timings but are determined by the hotels.

The Kenya Utalii College organizes annually in July a one-day food festival usually called the "Uhondo Africa". Different cuisines from different parts of the world are displayed together with Kenya's own dishes from different cultural backgrounds. Visitors are welcome to have a true taste of these.

The Dugong Festival and the Lamu Donkey Racing

Lamu is a wonderful old stone town with a distinctive Arab traditional architecture, curved doors, narrow streets, absence of vehicles, many mosques, fishermen, women dressed in black and wearing the bui bui and is rich in the Muslim culture. The town is in the North Coast region of Kenya and takes tourism seriously as this is the major source of income. Residents of this historical town hold a festival in May each year under the name of the "Lamu Dugong festival" and incorporate the famous donkey race. Donkeys are the sole means of transport in Lamu and are found in large numbers! The festival lasts a week and brings together people from all sectors including visiting tourists. The major theme of the festival is to create awareness to the residents and the public about the need to conserve the Dugong found near the islands (mythologically known as the mermaid), which is an endangered species.

Other activities during this festival include dhow racing, water sports, traditional dances, food exhibitions fashion and architectural displays.

The Nairobi and Mombasa Carnivals

Each year, Kenya's major cities hold entertainment and music extravaganzas to celebrate the cities' birth. Members of the public are usually invited and visiting tourists too. The first one in October 1998 was incorporated with the celebration of 50 years of the Mombasa and Coast Tourism Association and over 7000 tourists joined. Entertainment, food, art and culture displays, fashion shows and other outdoor sports form a grater part of the fun filled day.

This years Mombasa Carnival will be held on 4th November 2000. The carnivals parade will start from Moi Avenue and from Fort Jesus a place that reminds one of the precious history of Kenya. It will proceed up to Mama Ngina Drive where there will be a lot of activities.

Contact the organizers on :-
Tel. 254 11 227052
Fax. 254 11 316501

Art Festivals

The National Museums of Kenya hold annually an Art festival in Nairobi called the East African Art Festival. The event takes three days only and draws exhibitors from the whole of the East African region. Exhibitors display their art works, paintings, traditional artifacts and architectural designs among others. Related technical institutions and colleges around the country hold other art exhibitions, and your local safari operator can give the dates.

Festivals Around National Holidays

Just before Kenya's holidays several events take place to commemorate these important national days which includes screening of films, performing plays and skits, releasing songs, etc, all about these events. This is organized by the National Museums of Kenya in conjunction with the Department of Culture, Ministry of Home Affairs.

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