When: 1-5 January
Where: Nkhata Bay, Northern Region
Chilimika means ‘year’ in Chewa.
The Chilimika dance welcomes the arrival of a new year and is celebrated mainly by the Tonga tribe in the northern region of Malawi.
The festival usually consists of young people dancing for the older generation in their communities.
When: 15 January
In 1915, during the First World War, the Reverend John Chilembwe organised an unsuccessful uprising against colonial rule.
Today, Malawi sets aside 15 January each year to celebrate the life of Chilembwe, who has become a national hero.
When: 3 March
This national holiday commemorates the lives of the individuals who played a role in Malawi’s struggle for independence from British colonial regime on 3 March 1959.
When: 14 May
A public holiday to honour Hastings Kamuzu Banda on his official birthday.
Often regarded as the father and founder of the nation, Banda was the country’s first president.
He led Malawi to independence and ruled the country for over 30 years.
Luwawa International Mountain Bike Challenge
When: Second weekend of June
Where: Luwawa Forest
Although it varies, the route usually starts at Luwawa Forest Lodge and runs along the ridges of the Viphya Mountains.
There are fine views throughout the course, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife.
Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon
When: End of June to beginning of July (Six days)
Where: Lake Malawi
First held in 1984, the Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon is an epic test of speed, endurance and sheer destination.
It is also an opportunity to experience Malawi from a perspective witnessed by only a few.
Many sailors return annually to Lake Malawi to take part.
Mount Mulanje Porters’ Race
When: First week of July
Where: Likhubula, Mulanje
The 25km Porters’ Race is one of the Malawi’s most extreme competitions, attracting elite runners form across the world.
Participants ascend to Chambe Plateau, about 2,500metres above sea level, then to Lichenya in less than three hours.
National Independence Day
When: 6 July
Where: Rotates regionally
This day commemorates Malawi’s independence from the confederation in 1964.
Kungoni open day
When: First Saturday of August
Where: Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art at Mua, Dedza
Held in memory of Father Jean-Baptiste Champmartin, to whom the museum at Mua is dedicated, this festival brings together drummers, singers and dancers form the surrounding village.
The centre is run by a Canadian Catholic priest, who has built an impressive museum of the Chewa, Ngoni, Yao, and Matengo cultures of the area.
When: Second Saturday of August
Where: Hora Mountain, Mzimba
Umthetho, which means ‘custom’ or ‘governance’ in Chewa, is celebrated by the Ngoni.
It promotes conventional governance, heritage and traditions.
When: Last Saturday of August
Where: Katete, Zambia
Kalamba is a celebration of the Chewa people to pay tribute to Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi through traditional dances and the presentation of gifts.
National Tourism Month
When: 1-30 September
This celebration aims to create awareness of the importance of tourism as well as its social, cultural, political and economic value.
Various local events are held throughout the month.
Cape Maclear Triathlon
When: Third weekend of September
Where: Cape Maclear, Mangochi
When: Last weekend of September
Where: Bolero, Rumphi
Held by the Tumbukas to celebrate their heritage and Chikulamayembe Dynasty, this ceremony consists of the oral tradition of recounting the Chikuramayembe lineage and dance performances.
Lake of Stars
When: Last weekend of September
Where: Rotates along the beaches of Lake Malawi
Lake of Stars ia an annual three-day international festival held on the shore of Lake Malawi. It seeks to promote Malawi’s creative industries, culture and tourism.
Mzuzu Fashion Week
When: First week of October
Mzuzu Fashion Week is Malawi’s annual Fashion Event.
It is a platform for local and national designers to showcase their work and encourage the growth of the textile industry in Malawi.
Blantyre Arts Festival
When: First weekend of October
Where: Blantyre Cultural Centre
Blantyre Arts Festival celebrates Malawi’s cultural industries through exhibitions and workshops with art practitioners and cultural exchange programmes.
Mulhakho wa Alhomwe
When: Sunday closest to the 25th
Where: Chonde, Mulanje
This festival marks the heritage of the Lhomwe people.
It features an array of events including traditional dance performances, recitations of oral traditions and culinary displays.
When: Second week of October
Where: Likoma and Chizumulu islands
The annual Likoma Festival is a contemporary celebration of arts and culture with a strong focus on artists and traditional dances from Malawi.
Public Holidays 2021
|1||January 1||New Year’s Day|
|2||January 15||John Chilembwe Day|
|3||March 3||Martyrs’ Day|
|4||April 2||Good Friday|
|5||April 3||Holy Saturday|
|6||April 5||Easter Monaday|
|7||May 1-3||Labour Day|
|8||May 14||Kamzu Day|
|9||May 13-14||Eid al Fitr|
|10||July 6||Independence Day|
|11||October 15||Mother’s Day|
|12||December 25||Christmas Day|
|13||December 26||Boxing Day|