Zanzibar`s rituals find their expression through the festivals and arts that colour the island throughout the year. Among the most popular festivals are:
Sauti za Busara – "Sounds of Wisdom" Swahili Music & Cultural Festival……. A 3-day weekend cultural extravaganza of music, theatre and dance held annually in Zanzibar during February.
Zanzibar International Film Festival - ZIFF presents the annual Festival of the Dhow Countries during the first two weeks of July. The festival celebrates the arts and cultures of the African continent, the Gulf States, Iran, India, Pakistan and the islands of the Indian Ocean, collectively known as the Dhow countries.
Bullfighting - Bullfighting is a popular, traditional and annual sport in Pemba Island. Pemba bullfights are relic of Portuguese occupation of the island, which occurred during the 16th and 17th centuries. Drum beats, men and women sing local songs to make the event lively and spur on both bull and matador. There is no specific dates when the bullfighting’s are organized but the hottest time of the year. This between August and February. But some times it is done after clove harvesting or during the state ceremony such as Revolutionary Day of Zanzibar.
Mwaka Kogwa - A four-day-long celebration, Mwaka Kogwa is best observed at Makunduchi, a village in the southern part of Zanzibar. The origins of this holiday are Zoroastrian (a Persian religion older than Islam). It is a celebration of the New Year and some of the events include huge bonfires and mock fights. The festivities vary from village to village but Makunduchi is where the biggest events take place. All are welcome for this festival which takes place at the end of July.
Eid-el-Fitr - is the festival at the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting and it is the biggest the most respected of all festivals in Zanzibar. Also known as Iddi or Sikukuu (days of celebration, festival or holiday), this festival is a time of gift giving and of giving alms. The Eid celebrations lasts for four days and visitors can attend Eid festivities at the Mnazi Moja grounds across from the National Museum or at the Kariakoo fair grounds out by the Main Post Office.