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Looking for a December Festival in Senegal? Check out Abene Festival that lights Senegal

December’s Abene Festival that brings Senegal to a standstill


In the tiny village of Abene in Senegal, December is a month to remember for West Africans as Abene Festival injects bliss into their lives.

Abene Festival is an annual week-long event in Senegal that starts after Christmas and ends after the New Year. It draws music enthusiasts from different corners of West Africa to Abene village which has over the years become a stronghold for traditional dancers.

The festival kicks off on Boxing Day with crazy drumming and humming to traditional tunes mystically throwing everyone into a frenzy followed by speeches from community leaders and politicians.

Each evening throughout the Abene Festival, the main performances commence in the evening till late night and  African disco kicks off; again, attracting a huge number of fans who do not shy putting their best foot forward.

Instrument playing is a big part of the musical affair at the festival.

The musical instrument is customary crafted and performs just as well as the modern one. The calabash guitar steals the show with straps nailed from one of the edges to the other

Besides the relish that comes with music, the festival is used as environmental advocacy to the youth. Part of the campaign is against indiscriminate disposal of plastics, something elders are keen about and will often give you an empty plastic bottle and watch how you dispose it.

Bike races, traditional wrestling (Lutte-a revered wrestling match are major sporting events at the Abene Festival. Lutte is a revered wrestling match, not for the weaklings though.

Lastly, the Spanish Cultural Centre, Zarabene exhibits arts from artistes in West Africa.

Read more:

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