Nganja

Harvest time

Before winter sets in (the coldest month is July in Angola), the feast of Nganja celebrates the harvest in April.

Families go out into the fields and gather maize/corn which they cook over open fires.

When the roasted corn on the cob is handed out, children often play a game where they steal the corn from others. If you’re not quick, you may end up with no corn at all.

Children in a maize field

Another harvest feast celebrated at any time from February to April is Okambondondo. With this autumn celebration, children usually divide into age groups and meet at someone’s house. They gather to play games and tell stories, but also for a feast. Corn and other foods are cooked by the older girls (or adults), who wake everybody up in the early hours of the morning to eat.

After all the celebration and games, children gather up all the leftover food at the first sign of dawn and carry it home for their parents to enjoy. What’s the betting that most children then go back to bed!