The Annual Marula Festival in Phalaborwa
The Annual Marula Festival – February 19th to 26th – The annual Marula Festival in Limpopo will take place in the town of Phalaborwa from February 19th to 26th. Various activities are planned for the festival and these will take place at the Impala Park Rugby Stadium.
Among other events on during the weeklong festival will be the brewing of the Marula Festival beverage, a golf challenge, a half marathon and an open air music concert. In keeping with the sports trend there will also be youth rugby and street soccer …
There are many legends of the marula tree; from its use as a relaxant, a traditional beer, a place to worship, qualities as a healing ingredient and then of course there are the many uses for its bark, leaves, fruit, nut and kernels.
Marula fruit ripens from December to March and this ripening is celebrated with the harvest beginning in February or March. This also marks the start of the planting season.
The marula means different things to different tribes; the people of Limpopo call marula the ‘food of kings and ancestors’ and celebrate the ‘Feast of First Fruits’ by pouring fresh juice as an offering over the tombs of dead chiefs and family. The Venda people however use the season as a time of festivity. A lot of time is spent sitting under the shade of the marula tree, preparing the brew!
The people of northern Sotho have a belief that the tree was given to the people by the spirits and is therefore sacred. Very often a marula tree will be the only tree left standing in a freshly ploughed field.
The marula stone is used as dice by diviners of the Shangaan tribe. The diviners cast their ‘bones’ to foresee the future of clients. Traditional healers in Limpopo use the tree to prevent bad spirits and witchcraft.
For more information on the Marula Festival please call Moses on (015) 293 8300.