It’s a wonderful way not only for the community to enjoy one another but for visitors to experience their warmth. It sometimes serves as a way to fundraiser for itself.
The House of Judah (HOJ) has hosted events for various organizations including Knysna Tourism.
Earthday is the main annual festival and is promoted by Knysna Tourism. It celebrates H.I.M., Emperor Haile Selassie I, the Rasta’s God and King. This attracts both Rasta and non-Rasta from all over the country and internationally. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor normally open the festival.
7 days of church and 3 days of music and art exhibition. The 7 days of Nyahbingh (church) start at 9AM. The day of Observing is particularly sacred and we ask all in attendance to Observe the following:
Dress code is strictly Hola (Holy): Sistas not permitted into the church during their first 7 days of their menstrual cycle. All women must be clothed in either a long skirt or dress – longs/trousers/jeans are not permitted. Brothers: No head covering.
The festival concludes with the Emancipation Celebration, Celebrating the day of Emancipation (the Abolition of Slavery). We start the day with dancing and singing old traditional songs and feeding the people with hot chocolate and bread. People wear traditional dress – women in bandanas and aprons. The night before there is throwing of rice and eggnogg. This is a family day, open to the public, and people are encouraged to celebrate their freedom through any way – some cry, some dance other sing/ tell stories recite poems; this is a time open for expression. Tourists are welcome to bring their cameras and come enjoy and learn what Emancipation day is all about.
NB: Please note the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs is not allowed in Judah Square – please respect our customs as we open our doors to welcome you. If you are unsure of anything, please feel free to ask. We are always happy to help!