Cancellation of traditional ceremonies and festivals in Zambia

Hilda M. Sinywibulula, Zambia National Commission for UNESCO

The practice and transmission of this living heritage has been affected as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions/lock down.

A number of traditional ceremonies and festivals have been postponed/cancelled. The cancelled practices are those with fixed time frames and are only carried out during particular months of the year.

For instance, the Kuomboka ceremony which usually takes place in March or early April when the rivers are full or flooded will not take place this year. It has to wait for a new cycle of the year.

The issue of social distancing has affected other activities such as festivals as they require a good number of people all performing in one place as well as a large number of spectators.

Other forms of ICH such as songs and poetry are being used to raise awareness among communities on COVID-19.

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