Malawi Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Malawi, MW, South-East Africa)

Photo of colourful fabrics at local Chengale marketLike most of its neighbours, Malawi boasts a number of sporting events, traditional festivals and cultural festivals aimed at showcasing Malawian music, art, dance and heritage.

By far the best known is the Lake of Stars Festival, a four-day international music event which attracts thousands of international visitors and takes place each October. Annual things to do in Malawi also include the national holidays of Chilembwe Day (January 15th), Martyrs' Day (March 3rd), Labour Day (May 1st), Freedom Day (June 14th) and Republic Day (July 6th).

Malawi Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Chilimike (New Year) Celebrations - a public holiday on the first day of the New Year. As in most African countries, the last night of the old year is celebrated with parties and the like
  • John Childembwe Commemoration - held on 15th January each year in the Chiradzulu district


  • There are no significant festivals in Malawi during the month of February


  • Easter - Christian congregations celebrate Easter with processions and church services. Good Friday and Easter Monday are both public holidays
  • Martyrs' Day - held on 3rd March each year, commemorating the historic uprising against British colonial rule


  • There are no significant festivals in Malawi during the month of April


  • Kamuzu Day - a day of celebrations held on May 14th each year in honor of the country's very first president, Dr. Kamuzu Banda


  • Luwawa International Mountain Bike Race - a long-distance race along the ridge of the Viphya mountains. Competitors enjoy great views and the chance of spotting some exotic local wildlife. An increasingly popular event with local sports enthusiasts and those from further afield


  • Mount Mulanje Porters Race - a race that was originally limited to porters who guide tourists up the mountains. Today, it attracts local runners, as well as those from all over the world, all keen to face the challenges of this 25 km / 15-mile course. Runners head into the mountains via a tortuously rocky route, eventually reaching the heady heights of Malawi's highest mountain
  • Republic Day - a celebration of its independence, granted on 6th July 1964
  • Lake Malawi International Yachting Marathon - an established race that used to be known as the Malawi 500 International Marathon, taking place over five days


  • Interregional Music Crossroads - bands from all over Africa congregate in Blantyre to compete in this popular music contest for the chance to win a prestigious European tour
  • Malipenga Dances - August sees the start of the traditional Malipenga Dance season in many districts in Malawi, including Karong, Rumphi and Nkhatabay


  • Malawi International Film Festival (MIFF) - a newcomer to the country, set up to encourage a culture of cinema in Malawi, as well as to inspire young Malawian filmmakers to join this industry


  • Lake of Stars Festival - held mid-October. An award-winning festival that takes place on the shores of Lake Malawi and entertains vast audiences with live performances by Malawian and international artists
  • Eid al Fitr - the end of Ramadan is celebrated by the Muslim community. The day is also a public holiday
  • European Culinary Festival - an opportunity to enjoy traditional British, Italian and Portuguese food in participating restaurants in Lilongwe


  • Blantyre Arts Festival - a newly launched arts event that aims to showcase visual arts, poetry, dance and theatre


  • Christmas Day - December 25th, Christmas is celebrated by the country's many Christians. Gifts are exchanged, special dishes prepared and visits made to family and friends
  • SADC Aids Fiesta - an annual event held in each of the SADC countries, including Malawi. The SADC Aids Fiesta is the region's response to the Aids epidemic. Music, theatre, dance, poetry and films are among the entertainment on offer