Celebrating Basotho New Year on 1 August 2015

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1 August 2015 marks the celebration of the African New Year (Selemo sa Basotho) with the aim of giving way to new life after the dry season, normally known as winter season according to Gregorian Calendar, relying on the position of the moon, the natural indicator of the season rotation.
 
The Basotho calendar commences after the last days of winter season in August/Phato known for blowing winds, clearing Mother Earth and refreshing the land with showers of spring.
 
The Basotho people celebrate the beginning of the year with different rituals, e.g. Mokete wa lewa- where celebrations commence after harvesting, to thank God and the Ancestors for the food harvested.
 
Outreach programmes aiming at awareness and adding flair to the African New Year Celebration and services of the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation will unfold as follow:
 
28 July 2015 Paul Roux, Bethlehem, Kestel,
29 July 2015 Harrismith, Tshiame, Makgolokoeng
30 July 2015 Fouriesburg & Clarens
31 July 2015 Qwaqwa
 
On 1August 2015, horses and horse cart will be awaiting our the MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mrs. Mathabo Leeto and her dignitaries and a grand march by the cultural groups to the Basotho Cultural Village for the main celebrations.
 
Approaching the museum there will be unique craft exhibitions by local SMME’s, various museum services exhibitions by Provincial Museums, SANPARKS and other Institutions depicting their services to benefit the attendants of the event.
 
The opening of the official formal programme will be led by Traditional Healers performing their rituals to mark the African New Year. Fields are ploughed and the very first harvest is brought as an offering to “Tlatlamatjholo” – GOD. Included in the programme will be presentation on traditional harvesting methods and performances by our cultural artists entertaining the attendants.
 
African cuisine and traditional food will be served to complete the celebration as a sign of good harvest and praying for the best year.
 
The Main event will be hosted as follows:
 
Date: 1 August 2015
Venue: Basotho Cultural Village (Qwaqwa)
Time: 09:00 (Grand Parade)
Dress: Traditional
 
Source:  Free State Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation