LAMU TOURISM BENEFITS FROM MAULID FESTIVAL
(Posted 19th January 2015)
This year’s Maulid Festival, which celebrates the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, brought a significant rise in visitor arrivals to Lamu. Following the lifting of the curfew for Lamu town and Shela Beach by the recently appointed new Inspector General of Police in Kenya – his hapless predecessor singlehandedly killed off Lamu’s hospitality businesses when he slapped a dusk to dawn curfew on the town last year – have visits to Lamu noticeably increased.
The 2015 Maulid Festival was held under the theme of ‘Tolerance and Multiculturalism’, a befitting reminder that mutual respect for one’s culture and beliefs is the key for peaceful coexistence.
The four day Maulid Festival, celebrated every year in Lamu, drew in visitors not just from the coast but upcountry too, with airlines and bus companies reporting strong bookings from mid last week until yesterday, when the Festival ended.
Discover Lamu, aka www.lamutourism.org describes the festival as: It brings visitors and pilgrims to Lamu for recitals and praise poems, music and dances, bao games, calligraphy, and art exhibits, dhow and donkey races, henna and swimming competition, and finally a parade known as Zefe, that winds through the narrow alleyways of the town, lined by cheering crowds.
No security incidents were reported after surveillance had been stepped up and more patrols been added to keep revelers safe. Next coming up in Lamu is the Painters’ Festival in February and the Lamu Yoga Festival in March, with updates available here prior to both events.