On Sunday, 27 August 2017, Rwanda will celebrate Umuganura 2017, commonly known as National Harvest Day.
The day is celebrated in a bid to promote the Rwandan culture of valuing and celebrating achievements and crop yields from the country’s soil.
This year’s celebrations are held under the theme: Umuganura, a foundation of unity and self-reliance.
In ancient Rwanda, Umuganura was one of the most important ceremonies celebrated 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 a national level, is marked by processions and march-pasts, parades and fashion shows, as well as a set of traditional games.
As part of efforts to reconstruct Rwanda and nurture a shared national identity, the Government of Rwanda drew on aspects of Rwandan culture and traditional practices to enrich and adapt its development programs to the country’s needs and context.
The result is a set of Home Grown Solutions - culturally owned practices translated into sustainable development programs. One of these Home Grown Solutions is the First-Fruits Festival, also known as Umuganura.
The festival is also an occasion to bring together Rwandans from all social ranks in a bid to cement the social fabric of the Rwandan society.
As part of the celebration, Sunday, August 27th will be Umuganura Day and according to the announcement by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour( MIFOTRA), which implies on Monday, August 28, 2017, will be a public holiday.