As a result of COVID-19 in South Africa, the yearly traditional Zulu Reed Dance took place for the second year in a row.
On Saturday, only 37 maidens were summoned to a sized ceremony at the Zulu monarch’s royal residence in northern KwaZulu-Natal to mark 37 years of the festival.
King Misuzulu KaZwelithini, the next Zulu monarch, is honoring his parents’ contributions to the preservation of the traditional Reed Dance. In 2021, both of his parents died of Covid-related ailments.
The maidens lit candles in honor of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekizulu and Queen Manthombi Ka-Sobhuza Zulu, who both passed away recently.
The Royal Reed Dance is an annual ceremony that honors the nation’s virgin maidens while also celebrating and integrating the Zulu people. Against the backdrop of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, this cultural practice aims to reduce the spread of the disease by fostering a respect for young women who swear to remain virgins until marriage.