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New Year's Day in Kanga, 1976-1994

Throughout the coast of East Africa, there are areas where the solar new year, variously known as Siku ya Mwaka (the 'day of the year') or ‘Mwaka Kogwa (bathing the year) or Nairuzi is celebrated in the month of August. In Kanga village, many of the women go together to the beach (an area not usually visited by women), along with children of both sexes, and bathe in the sea. It is said that this washes away the sins of the old year. They then share a special rice cake before returning to the village singing special songs and visiting some houses to demand food. The event ends with a young people's dance in the village.

1976


1994