Zambia, the former British colony of India, is celebrating National Prayer Day on the month of October/ November every year. In Zambia, the people observe this day with great fondness and pride. It is observed in the whole country – from the rural areas to the urban centers. All the citizens are free to participate in the ceremonies organized by the imams on that day.
The Zambian tradition of observing National Prayer Day coincides with the Christian worship on this day. Earlier on this celebration was called Happy Children’s Day and was a time for children to play and pray. Though National Prayer Day has many pre-determined customs and observances, it is observed with special vigor and enthusiasm by the Zambians. The main reason for celebrating it on the fourth Sunday of October/ November is the conviction that God had created children to walk the path of goodness. He had not only created them to be wise and good but also to live their lives in harmony and love all the year round.
Zambia is a very spiritual country with deep cultural roots. There is no room for discrimination against any religion in Zambia and on National Prayer Day, children are made to wear black socks and long pants so that they are not tempted to become dirty or dirtied by dirt or mud. A small flower is put on the child’s forehead and prayer notes are recited by an imam. The entire process is a wonderful symbol of the unity of God and love between man and his fellow beings.
Though Zambia is a Catholic country, the majority of the people are Christians and follow the Catholic religion. Though there are approximately thirteen million members of the Zambian Church, they have incorporated the practice of their religion in their social lives. Many young Zambians join religious clubs and are involved actively in community activities. These are an excellent way to see the culture of a place in its rawest form.
While on National Prayer Day, make sure that you have your camera ready. Most children in Zambia are not used to the Western world and to be photographed in an unfamiliar country can be quite a shock. However, when you are certain that the child is comfortable with the photographer, it is worth the extra effort to get some decent shots. You should try and capture the child’s expression as well as the beautiful scenery that are around them. It is recommended that you avoid taking pictures of the Zambian President or any political figures as this can result in legal action being taken against you.
There are many different places in Zambia, where you can observe a child being charitable. There are children holding bird feeders where little birds fly into the cage and then come back out again. These are great opportunities to teach children the value of sharing and the joy of being kind to others. Some children even bring eggs home from the market and offer to wash the eggs and then clean them before bringing them home.
Zambia has many national traditions and events that are important to the people of the country. One of these is National Friendship Day which commemorates how many countries have been friends with Zambia through the years. Every year during this period, children from all over the country visit Zambia and celebrate this special event. The music and dance involved in this celebration are very traditional and colourful. Another important tradition associated with the holiday is when children exchange mittens that are made out of fur with each other. Mittens are taken as a sign of respect and friendship between two nations, and also a sign of a renewed trust in their faith and friendship.
The Namanga Valley is another amazing place to visit when in Zambia. This is where the Zulus came from, as it is here that they produce black ink which is used to write on sacred objects. You can also tour the Okavango Delta, which is a region of stunning scenery and natural vegetation. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.