Mwaka Kogwa is celebrated at the end of July in several villages around the island of Zanzibar, but best observed in Makunduchi, (southeast coast). The colourful festival originates in Persia and celebrates the New Year according to the Shirazi calendar. Festivities are accompanied by ancient rites and rituals,such as symbolic fres and mock fights, which are believed to ensure peace and harmony for the coming year. Men taking part in the fights defend themselves with tree branches while women dress in their best clothes and taunt the men with songs about village life and love. The ritual is said to allow villagers to air any grievances and vent their anger, thus ensuring conﬂicts are not carried into the coming year. All are welcome since it is a local belief that anyone without a guest for this festival is unhappy.