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Holidays in Kenya

Public holidays in Kenya

Public holidays in Kenya 2019

Date

Weekday

Holiday Name

Holiday Type

 
 

Jan 1

Monday

New Year’s Day

Public holiday

 

Mar 20

Wednesday

March equinox

Season

 

Apr 19

Friday

Good Friday

Public holiday

 

Apr 21

Sunday

Easter Sunday

Observance

 

Apr 22

Monday

Easter Monday

Public holiday

 

May 1

Wednesday

Labour Day/May Day

Public holiday

 

May 12

Sunday

Mother’s Day

Observance

 

Jun 1

Saturday

Madaraka Day

Public holiday

 

Jun 6

Tuesday

Eid al-Fitr

Public holiday

 

Jun 21

Friday

June Solstice

Season

 

Aug 12

Monday

Eid al-Adha

Public holiday

 

Sep 22

Sunday

September equinox

Season

 

Oct 20

Sunday

Mashujaa Day

Public holiday

 

Oct 21

Monday

Mashujaa Day observed

Public holiday

 

Dec 12

Thursday

Jamhuri Day

Public holiday

 

Dec 21

Saturday

December Solstice

Season

 

Dec 24

Tuesday

Christmas Eve

Observance

 

Dec 25

Wednesday

Christmas Day

Public holiday

 

Dec 26

Thursday

Boxing Day

Public holiday

 

Dec 31

Tuesday

New Year’s Eve

Observance

 

The Muslim festival of Eid al Fitr celebrates the end of Ramadan. The date varies each year depending on the sighting of a new moon in Mecca.
The dates for the Christian holiday of Easter vary from year to year.


Jamhuri Day, which means “Republic Day”, is a national holiday of Kenya that occurs every December 12 and commemorates the establishment of Kenya as a republic in 1964, while independence from the United Kingdom took place a year earlier, on the 12th. December 1963.
Jamhuri Day is considered by many to be the most important festival on Kenya’s calendar, and is celebrated with a great emphasis on the culture and history of Kenya. There are speeches, parades, parties, traditional songs and dances, ceremonial lifts of the flag of Kenya, and many other activities that occur on this day. Furthermore, as it is only a couple of weeks before Christmas, Jamhuri Day in Kenya marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.
Kenya was the home of various African peoples for many centuries before colonization, but the first settlers were Germans, followed by English colonists in 1890. In 1920, Kenya had become an official colony of the British Empire. Soon there were disputes between Kenyans and British colonialists for land rights, cultural traditions, political participation, and economic policies. This led to the Mau Mau rebellion of 1952, which threw Kenya into a state of agitation for a decade. Gradually, the concessions were made, but Dedan Kimathi, the leader of the revolt, was hanged. The elections were held in 1957 and Jomo Kenyatta became the first elected head of the colonial Kenyan government. Then, as mentioned above, Kenya became independent of Britain on December 12, 1963, and a full-fledged republic on December 12, 1964. Jomo Kenyatta later became the first president, and Kenya joined the British Commonwealth of Nations.
As Kenyans tend to have strong family ties, most of them return home to feast on their families during Jamhuri Day. Some of the dishes they typically taste include: Somosa, which can be fried or baked and filled with minced meat, spicy potatoes, peas, lentils, pasta or other salty foods; Stews made from cabbage, corn and tomatoes; various roasts; Irio, crushed peas mixed with mashed potatoes; Githeri, which is a mix of beans and corn; Ugali, white cornmeal polenta, often eaten with vegetables and stews; two rice dishes: Pilao, flavored with cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and other spices, and Biryani, which is eaten mostly on the coast of Kenya; and, finally, stewed goat meat, chicken, or beef, with a base of spicy tomato soup and vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peas and peppers.
If you are in Kenya for Jamhuri Day, in addition to wanting to enjoy authentic Kenyan cuisine, you may wish to take part in festive activities such as the following:
• Be in the capital Nairobi to attend the presidential speech in the Jamhuri Day, or hear it on TV or on the radio. also attend the parade in Nairobi or in one of the various provinces of Kenya.
• The annual Kenya Navy air show is held in Nairobi. There will also be fireworks.
• A new tradition in Kenya is to practice bungeejumping during the Jamhuri Day. This is a way of celebrating, which seems to be a symbol of freedom, and is largely done by men jumping from bridges. You may or may not agree about practicing this type of sport, but you can watch who is participating if you want to see bold and exciting activities.
Every Jamhuri Day, Kenyans of all groups and ethnicities unite around the idea of ​​national independence and a republican form of government. There is so much food and activity, and everyone who visits Kenya at this time of year will find it a truly memorable day.

Christmas Day

Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Guatemala and, in general, all the countries that are part of the Commonwealth of Nations that have a predominantly Christian population. It is based on giving gifts to the less fortunate members of society. The origin of Boxing Day dates back to the times when it was usual to give gifts to employees or members of the poorest social classes.
The day is related to the anniversary of Saint Stephen, a feast celebrated in many European countries, and falls on December 26, while for the Orthodox Christian Church – with the exception of Greece, which always celebrates it on the 26th – is December 27th.

New Years Day

Madaraka Day is commemorated on 1 June, the day when Kenya reached internal self-government in 1963, which precedes full independence from the United Kingdom on 12 December 1963.

Mashujaa Day is celebrated in Kenya every 20 October
It is also known as “Heroes Day”, as the word Swahili “mashujaa” means “heroes”. It was originally called “Kenyatta Day” in honor of the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, but the name was changed after the 2010 constitution in an attempt to expand the meaning of the day by not only honoring those who participated in the independence movement from Britain, but also all the heroes of Kenya.
If October 20 falls on a weekend, Mashujaa Day is moved to the following Monday so workers get a day off.
The day has as its background the arrest of Jomo Kenyatta and five other leaders of the independence movement from the British colonial government on October 20, 1952. They were accused of belonging to the revolutionary Mau Mau Society and are fondly remembered as “Kapenguria Six”, which evokes the detention center where they were imprisoned. Their arrest was considered an important moment in the struggle for freedom from foreign domination, which became a national holiday on October 20th.
Mashujaa Day is typically celebrated with an event at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi. A military parade takes place with troops wearing colorful uniforms that resemble the red, black and green of the Kenyan flag.
In addition to participating in the official celebrations in Nairobi, I will list four other things to do in Kenya during Mashujaa Day:
• Visit the monument (statue) of the “Father of the Kenyan nation” Jomo Kenyatta. It is located in central Nairobi at the center of the Kenya International Conference.
• Stop at Uhuru Park in the Nairobi CBD. In the background, you can see the skyscrapers. In the center of the park there is a small artificial lake where you can go by boat. The park is also a skateboarding center on weekends, so if you like doing or watching this sport, here is the place to be. Finally, several important monuments are located in Uhuru Park, including the National Monument, which has four figures that raise a large flag of Kenya, and the Nyayo Monument, which honors the highly controversial President Moi, who ruled from 1978 to 2002.
• Nairobi National Park Tour, located four miles south of the city. An electrified fence marks the border between the big city and the wildlife sanctuary. This is a small nature reserve, by Kenyan standards, but its proximity to Nairobi makes it highly accessible. Inside, you can find all sorts of African migratory animals, as well as the impressive rhino population.
• Exit Nairobi and visit Lake Nakuru in the far north on the border with Uganda. It is a lake that is located at high altitude in the middle of the African Rift Valley. It is surrounded by parks that protect it from development. There are many animals to see including wild warthogs, baboons, black and white rhinos, and a large bird store. However, the most distinctive and colorful view of Lake Nakuru is the large number of pink flamingos that hunt for fish in the shallow and muddy waters of the lake. Kenya’s heroes fought to protect both its people and the natural environment so that Kenya could prosper in the future as an independent African nation.
Attending the official Mashujaa Day celebrations in Nairobi, visiting important monuments, and some famous wildlife areas, are the things to do in Kenya on October 20th.

Mother’s Day is a celebration in honor of the mother of the family, as well as motherhood and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. It complements the celebrations in honor of family members, such as Father’s Day and Brothers Day.

May Day / Labor Day is a public holiday in many countries of the world. It usually occurs on May 1, but the date varies from country to country. It is associated with early spring and Labor Day.

Eid al-Adha (meaning “feast of sacrifice” or “feast of slaughter” or “feast of the offering [to God]”), is the Islamic festival celebrated every year in the lunar month of Dhū.
The word adha recalls the meaning of “sacrifice”, and is linked to the memory of the trials that would have been overcome by the prophet Abraham / Ibrāhīm and his family, formed in the specific case by Hāgar and their son Ishmael / Ismāʿīl.
The ritual sacrifice that is practiced during the festivity recalls the substitutive sacrifice made with a ram by Abraham, completely obedient to the divine disposition to sacrifice his son Ishmael to God before being stopped by the angel. The feast of faith and of total and undisputed submission to God is therefore par excellence.
In theory, on the day of Eid al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice Abraham as an animal that, according to the sharīʿa, must be physically intact and adult and can only be a sheep, a goat, a cattle or a camelid; in the last two cases it is possible to sacrifice an animal on behalf of more people, up to seven. The animal is killed by sticking, with the severing of the jugular that allows the blood to flow out, given that for biblical and Koranic legislation blood is impure and it is therefore forbidden to eat it. The slaughtering ceremony takes place on the 10th or the following three days, between the end of the morning prayer and the beginning of the afternoon prayer. He is slaughtered by a man, who must be in a state of legal purity, pronouncing a takbīr, or the formula: “In the name of God! God is the greatest “.
The meat is preferably divided into three equal parts, one of which must be consumed immediately among the family members, while the second must be conserved and consumed later and the third is destined for the poor of the community, who do not have the economic means to buy it.

Eid al-Fiṭr is the second most important religious festival of Islamic culture. It is celebrated at the end of the lunar month of Ramadan fasting as a sign of joy for the end of a long penitential period. Literally the meaning of the Arabic expression is “feast of the interruption [of fasting]”.
Recurrence dates: • 5 July 2016 • 25 June 2017 • 15 June 2018 • 4 June 2019.

Good Friday is a Christian holiday that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death on Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Easter Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Easter. It is also known as Good Friday, Great Friday or Black Friday.
The date of the anniversary on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, and there is no disagreement about its calculation. It is a festive extension established in many national governments around the world, including in most Western countries (especially Anglican and Catholic nations), as well as in 12 states of the United States. Some countries, such as Germany, have laws prohibiting certain acts, such as dancing and horse racing, which are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

Easter Sunday, also known as Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday, is a feast celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having taken place on the third day after his burial, after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD. It is the culmination of the Passion of Jesus, preceded by Lent (or Great Lent), a period of forty days of fasting, prayer and penance.
The week before Easter is called Holy Week, and contains the days of the Easter triduum, between Holy Thursday, which commemorates the Holy and Last Supper, as well as Good Friday, which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus. In Western Christianity the Easter time begins on Easter Sunday, lasts seven weeks and ends with the coming of the fiftieth day, Pentecost Sunday. In Orthodoxy, the Easter season begins and ends with the coming of the fortieth day, the feast of the Ascension.

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is a party in some countries. Easter Monday in the Western Christian liturgical calendar is the second Easter day.