Rwandans celebrate Umuganura
Umuganura is a day of Thanksgiving – to appreciate the year’s achievements.
Umuganura is celebrated in a bid to promote the Rwandan culture of valuing and celebrating achievements and crop yields from the country’s soil.
In ancient Rwanda, Umuganura was one of the most important ceremonies feted by Rwandans at the beginning of every harvest season.
The festivities were an occasion to celebrate the country’s achievements in terms of harvest both at the kingdom and family levels.
Today, Umuganura has a broader meaning: it has evolved to become a national festival to celebrate the country’s achievements in line with its vision for a more cohesive, united, peaceful and prosperous future.
It is also an opportunity to think of new ways to attain sustainable development. Umuganura festival, at the national level, is marked by processions and march-pasts, parades and fashion shows, as well as a set of traditional games.
Umuganura is celebrated every first Friday of the month of August and it is a public holiday in Rwanda.
The Minister for Sports and Culture has called on Rwandans to work together to contribute to the country’s development programmes, encouraging citizens to preserve the culture of sharing their harvests.
Julienne Uwacu delivered the message yesterday at the National Harvest Day (Umuganura) celebration in Nyanza District.
She said that Umuganura no longer only focuses on agricultural harvests but rather the country’s gains across the board.
Uwacu said that the growth in the agriculture sector of 8 per cent in the 2017/18 fiscal year, as well as 12 per cent in service sector, speaks to the importance of Umuganura, a centuries-old thanksgiving ceremony that serves to appreciate the year’s harvest.
“We laud the effort by Rwandans and our partners who contributed to this year’s economic growth in different sectors. On this day, we have to look at what we can do to further development and share our harvest with the have-nots,” she said encouraging people to share their harvest, especially with farmers whose yield were low due to heavy rain.
Uwacu reminded the residents of Nyanza and Rwandans in general that as they celebrate Umuganura, the event marks the beginning of the Rwandan traditional year, and so everyone should sign a performance contract (imihigo) committing to better results in the year ahead.
“We all have to work hand in hand without wasting time for the future of our country. Primarily, this year we have embarked on a programme intended to foster Rwanda’s development and the projects that were outlined by the leaders are expected to lead the country to self-reliance,” she said.