Sierra Leoneans know how to live life to the fullest and with their culture of generosity, there’s nothing they love more than to celebrate with friends and family.
Public holidays in Sierra Leone include New Year’s Day, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, Armed Forces Day, International Women’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Locals also celebrate Day of the African Child, World AIDS Day and Mother’s and Father’s Day.
New Year’s Day
Sierra Leoneans love to ring in the New Year with a party at a nearby river or beach, or on high hills overlooking the town, as is the case in Kabala up in the north of the country.
Typically, masquerades form a popular part of the celebrations and masked devils, often associated with specific secret societies, are the captivating entertainment for the day.
The Lantern Festival
One of Sierra Leone’s most popular events which coincides with the country’s independence anniversary in April, the Lantern Festival has great historic and religious significance.
Freetown’s normal flamboyant self becomes even more colourful and vibrant as neighbourhoods vie for top spot with floats designed to reflect important historic and modern-day figures.
This showcase of Sierra Leone’s rich culture includes music, dance, drama, fashion, exhibitions, a trade fair, food and folklore. The event, held around Easter, is organised by the theatre group, the Freetong Players.
Ma Dengn Beach festival
Short for ‘Festival of ECOWAS nations’, ECOFEST is the first festival of its kind to amalgamate the entertainment industry in West Africa and guest nations from other parts of Africa.
ECOFEST is not just about music. Music and culture are the two most powerful drivers of community artists and performers, and song participation and engagement are the two pillars upon which the festival is based. Music is such a big part of community life, bringing together women to share stories and culture with the audience through song and dance. Traditional meets contemporary music across two stages over one night at the festival. Internationally acclaimed musicians perform alongside emerging artists from across the continent to perform together at ECOFEST.