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News: UNESCO inscribes Harari people’s Shuwal Eid festival as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

The festival unites community members of all ages and genders and serves as a platform for community elders to share their knowledge and experiences (Photo: Harari Communication/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has inscribed the Harari people’s Shuwal Eid (Shuwalid) festival to the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The festival was inscribed during the eighteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which is ongoing in Kasane, Botswana starting yesterday.

Shuwal Eid is an annual three-day festival celebrated by the Harari people of Ethiopia, marking the end of six days of fasting to compensate for omissions during the holy month of Ramadan. The festival is celebrated at the shrines of Aw Shulum Ahmed and Aw Akebara, found at the main entrance gates of the walled city of Harar. 

According to a statement by UNESCO, the festival serves as a platform for the transmission of performing arts, oral traditions, traditional dress and other cultural elements, and promotes social cohesion and a sense of identity while also contributing to cultural exchange and supporting the local community and artisans.

Ordin Bedri, president of the Harari region, home to another UNESCO inscribed World Heritage, the Jugol wall, congratulated Ethiopians upon the registration of the Shuwal Eid festival to the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. AS

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