The 132nd Edition of the Lamu Maulidi Festival has kicked off with a procession from Riyadha Mosque to Lamu’s burial grounds expected later today to crown the week long festivities.
The Maulidi Festival is an annual event held by a cross section of Muslims worldwide on the Islamic calendar to mark the birth of Prophet Mohammed.
With at least 10,000 domestic and international tourists expected in Lamu, the festival is marked every third month of the Islamic Calendar and is hosted at Lamu’s century old Riyadha Mosque.
Speaking to KNA at the KPA building, Maulidi Festival organising committee secretary general Abubakar Mohammed Badawy stated that the event is also hosting international dignitaries from Yemen, Oman, The United Arab Emirates and Tanzania who are also attending this year’s celebration in Lamu.
“Apart from our guests from other parts of the coast and the country, we have international guests who are enjoying the Maulidi Festivities in Lamu, which has been part of our culture for more than a century,” Dr. Baadawy said.
He noted that the Maulidi Festivities has always attracted visitors from other parts of the World adding that it is for that reason the festivities are the county’s crowning jewel as world heritage site.
Among this year’s organizers and sponsors for the festival and its events are Riyadha Mosque, Islamic Centre, National Museums of Kenya, The Lamu Islamic Trust Fund and Kenya Ports Authority.
He further said that the Riyadha Mosque was in dire need of repair given its status as the county’s oldest mosque and said that the local community was keen on chipping in to ensure that the mosque is restored.
“Among the key events, being held this year to mark the Maulidi Festival are a medical camp organized by the Riyadha Health and Welfare group, the dhow sailing and donkey races being supported by Kenya Ports Authority and swimming competitions,” he said.
He added that cash prizes will be given to those who win in the various competitions lined up for the event.
Lamu County Police Commander Perminus Kioi further stated that security is assured throughout the event saying that officers will be patrolling the Island to ensure that no petty crime incidences occur that might mar the festivities.
By Amenya Ochieng