Zambia's annual festivals are as diverse as they are colorful. They offer a valuable insight into the character of the locals, as well as the cultural values and traditions that have been upheld from one generation to another. Throughout the year, there are a lot of activities that the locals look forward to, Usually involving much dancing and music, the seasonal events and things to do are also a great source of entertainment, both for locals and tourists. They range from modern to traditional festivities. Zambia's more traditional celebrations have faded from view in recent years. Nowadays, aside from these native festivals, new events have appeared on the Zambian calendar in recent years, from sports-based challenges to film fests and ancient ceremonies.
A typical Zambian New Year starts with the celebration of New Year on December the 31st. New Year's Eve is more about big firework displays, and much eating and drinking. Some of the modern Festivals include View Special Images Film Festival (VSIFF) , held in the country's busy tourist capital of Livingstone. Nine days of film screenings and workshops culminate in a galla night. Each year, the festival focuses on a special theme, such as gender, HIV and disability, then there is the Victoria Falls Marathon in which runners cross over the Victoria Falls Bridge into Zambia, offering views of some great scenery to both the runners and the spectators. The Shungu Namutitima International Film Festival of Zambia (SHUNAFFoZ) , held in Livingstone and including various movie screenings, conferences and workshops etc and the Zambia short film festival held in Lusaka where upcoming film makers are coached by professional film makers. Amaka Arts Festival a multi-disciplinary festival that is held in Lusaka to showcase the country's creative industries, visual literary arts, and cultural heritage. Plus the Elephant Charge an off road motorsport event and the Kasanka Mountain Bike Challenge.
And of course not forgetting the various colorful traditional ceremonies like the Harvest Festival and Nc'wala Ceremony celebrated by the Ngoni people, marked by traditional dancing and music. The Kuomboka one of Zambia's best known traditional ceremonies. Thousands of people come from all over the world to witness the proceedings, which include royal Maoma drumming, boatmen and singing, the Kufukwila Ceremony - a ritual that is celebrated each year by the Kaonde people, Likumbi Lya Mize - held in Mize, involving the Luvale people and the Kwanga Festival - celebrated by the Njuma people to mark the return of rainfall.
The as the year comes to the end, Christmas comes along to give locals yet another chance to celebrate before the year is finally over. In villages, various Yuletide-themed festivities include eating special dishes, singing and dancing, and the giving and receiving of small presents. Many locals follow the Christian religion and attend church on Christmas Day. In the main cities and towns, it is also popular to throw a Christmas Eve party and these celebrations usually spill over into the New Year, thus making the two events adjoined.