Holidays, climate and national customs in Angola
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday. The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|January 4||Day of the Martyrs of Colonial Oppression|
|February 4||Anniversary of the armed struggle against Portugal|
|March 8 i||International Women’s Day|
|4. April||Day d. Peace u. of reconciliation|
|1st of May||Labor Day|
|June 1||International Children’s Day|
|17th of September||Day of the Folk Hero|
|November 2||All Souls|
|November 11||Independence day|
Source: Countryaah – Angola Holidays
In order to be able to describe the climate in Angola more precisely, it makes sense to divide the country into three areas.
The average daytime temperatures are between 25-30 °C all year round. At night the temperatures drop to 18-23 °C. The coldest months are July and August and the warmest March and April.
There is no precipitation from June to August. The rainiest months are October and April with almost ten rainy days per month. From December to March there are an average of five rainy days per month.
The temperature differences are much clearer here. They vary between 20 °C in July and August and 29 °C in March. Even at night, the temperatures from July to August are the coldest with around 13 °C. They rise up to 21 °C in March.
In the south it hardly rains at all. Only around the months of November and April there are about three rainy days per month, the rest of the time there is a maximum of one.
In the center of the country, the average daily temperatures from November to July are around 26-27 °C. In September, temperatures can rise to 31 °C. At night from September to April they fluctuate around 15-16 °C. In July/ August the night temperatures drop to 8 °C.
It doesn’t rain at all from late May to early September. The rainy season begins in October and the number of rainy days per month increases to over 15 by December. This time lasts until around March, after which it rains less often again.
It is not allowed to take photos of soldiers, police officers, public buildings and structures or military installations in Angola. If you violate the law, you can not only lose your photo equipment, but in the worst case also end up in prison, which by far does not have the conveniences of a German prison
It is uncommon to tip in Angola. Instead, you show your gratitude with cigarettes or something similar
Anyone caught with illegal substances must expect severe penalties and the consequences.
Homosexuality is forbidden by law in Angola and can result in jail time.
Women and men
Angolan society is still strongly patriarchal. Although men and women nowadays have equal rights, women are still disadvantaged in many areas compared to men in everyday life.
Most of the cultural offerings can be found in the capital Luanda.
Music and dance are very important in Angola and are also an expression of the national attitude towards life.
It is worth mentioning the very popular music and dance style in Angola – the kizomba.
It consists of a mixture of traditional African rhythms and elements of European musical styles.
He is now known beyond the borders of Angola.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Presents the way that AO stands for the nation of Angola as a two-letter acronym.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Old town of M`banza
The old town of M`banza Congo in Angola lies on a plateau about 570 m high and testifies to the influence of the Portuguese colonialists since the 15th century.
The city of M’banza Congo with about 25,000 residents is located in the northwest of the country, about 40 km south of the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name means the royal city of Congo.
The city used to be the capital and spiritual center of the Congo Empire.
The kingdom existed from the 14th century and was one of the largest united kingdoms in southern Africa. However, after the Battle of Ambuila in 1665, the Congo Empire was crushed by Portugal. Because of this and because of the civil wars that followed, M’banza Kongo was abandoned in 1678, but was repopulated in 1705 by the Christian prophet Kimpa Vita (1684-1706) and her followers.
She was burned at the stake as a witch because of her differing views from official Christian teaching.
Until the end of Portuguese colonial rule in 1975, the city was called São Salvador do Congo or São Salvador.
After their immigration, the Portuguese had added buildings built according to European standards to the city made of local building materials. M’banza Kongo illustrates, like nowhere else south of the Sahara, the great changes that had taken place by the Portuguese and with the introduction of Christianity.
The historical center with its ruins, archaeological excavations and the remains of the Tadi dia Bukukua royal palace are part of the world cultural heritage. Furthermore, the Catholic Mission, the house of the King’s Secretary, the grave of Dona Mpolo – the mother of the King of the Congo Empire Afonso I (1456-1543) and the cemetery of the Congo kings.
Also worth mentioning are the ruins of the cathedral, which was built in the 16th century and is one of the oldest churches in Africa.
The old town of M`banza was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List at the UNESCO meeting that took place in Krakow, Poland, from July 2 to 12, 2017. The old town of M’banza Kongo is Angola’s first World Heritage Site.
The city actually called São Felipe de Benguela and formerly Benguella extends about 430 kilometers south of Luanda on the Benguela Bay. With around 160,000 residents, it is Angola’s third largest city. Benguela is of particular importance as the main base of the Benguela Railway, which runs through some African countries. But Benguela is not really worth seeing, apart from the fortress and the two churches of Santo António and São Felipe.
Located in western Angola, Huambo is the largest city in the country after Luanda with between 203,000 and 400,000 residents. The city formerly known as Nova Lisboa (Eng. New Lisbon) was founded by Portugal and is now very run down due to the war, especially since Huambo was once the headquarters of the UNITA rebels.
Lobito, the Atlantic city in the Angolan province of Benguela with around 210,000 residents is mainly famous for its large port, the second largest in Angola, from which the Benguel Railway, which connects Angola with numerous other African countries, also departs.
About 5 million people currently live in Luanda, the capital of Angola also known as São Paulo de Luanda or Loanda. The third largest city in which Portuguese is spoken, after São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, is also on the list of the largest cities on the entire “Black Continent”. Luanda, which is located in the province of the same name and on the Cuanza River, is divided into the Baixa de Luanda (old town) and the Cidade Alta (new town). There are no real sights – at least according to European assessments – in Luanda, but you can visit some interesting museums and colonial buildings, most of which are run down or even destroyed.
Around 245,000 people currently live in the former Sá da Bandeira, which makes Lubango the fourth largest city in Angola. Lubango spreads on the Huíla plateau and can therefore enjoy a very mild climate. Like the other cities of Angola, Lubango is not particularly interesting for tourists. However, one should not forget the Estadio Nacional da Tundavala, the construction designed by Chinese architects, which is one of the most modern football stadiums in all of Africa.
Augostinho Neto Mausoleum in Luanda
This striking, obelisk-like structure defines the skyline of Luanda. It is a mausoleum dedicated to Augustinho Neto, the first president of Angola. He distinguished himself in the country’s struggle for independence.
Estadio Nacional da Tundavala in Lubango
The national stadium in Lubango was newly built by Chinese architects and equipped with 20,000 seats. In the stadium, which incidentally is one of the most modern sports facilities in Africa, some games of the Africa Cup 2010 were played.
Fortaleza de São Miguel in Luanda
The old Portuguese fortress from 1576 also houses an interesting army museum. The building once served as an administrative center for the early colonial rulers. Unfortunately, the fort, which used to be quite imposing, is very dilapidated and should be renovated in the near future. There are also plans to set up a hotel in the fortress.
Fortaleza de São Pedro da Barra in Luanda
This fortress has served many purposes in the course of its existence. The building, erected in the 17th century, was originally intended to protect the area from intruders, but with the increasing slave trade it became a kind of “reception station” for all the people who were to be shipped to America as slaves. The use of the fort in the years of the Angolan struggle for independence from Portugal (1961-1975) was also less laudable: During those days, Angolan nationalists were imprisoned there who were later sent to labor camps.
Governor’s Palace of Lobito
The historic governor’s palace of the port city of Lobito rises on the Restinga, the city’s peninsula.
Igreja da Nazare in Luanda
This church, built in 1664, is famous for its wonderful altar, which, by the way, was made of Italian pink marble.
Igreja Nossa Senhora do Pópulo (Igreja da Sé)
The probably first Anglican church in Angola is one of the richest cultural and historical buildings in the country. Built as early as 1482, the Christian church not only impresses with its fabulous baroque architecture, but also with the beautiful furnishings in the entire interior.
Anthropology Museum The Luanda Anthropology Museum has an interesting collection of African art objects. This includes many old masks.
National Museum of Natural History in Luanda
The Natural History Museum of Luanda is filled with thousands of animal species, including fish, birds and insects. Many of the creatures shown are threatened with extinction today. Overall, the museum is so valuable because it shows the full range of organisms that can be found in Angola today or were once found.
National Museum of Slavery (Port. Museu Nacional da Escravatura) in Luanda
The Museum of Slavery in Luanda is located where the slaves were “kept” before they were shipped to America (especially Brazil). In the museum, the numerous photographs from the days of slavery are particularly worth seeing. Incidentally, it was housed in the Capa de Casa Grande, where the slaves to be shipped were also baptized beforehand.
If you leave the city of Benguela for a few kilometers to the west, you come to Baía Farta. This area is especially known for the salt pans and the many rare fruits.
Baixa de Luanda
The old town of the Angolan capital extends near the port. It is characterized by narrow streets and alleys as well as by quite remarkable buildings that go back to the colonial times.
Benfica market in Luanda
The highly recommended Benfica market in Luanda really sells everything – from travel guides and perfume to fur, ivory and animal skins.
Kissama National Park near Luanda
The Kissama National Park can be reached by leaving the Angolan capital Luanda for about 70 kilometers in a southerly direction. Incidentally, the national park is the largest in the country.
Mussulo Island near Luanda
The pretty island of Mussulo, located in the south of the Angolan capital Luanda, is popular for its natural beauty and is one of Angola’s most famous sights. In addition to picturesque stretches of beach with coconut palm trees, the island also attracts with its many sports facilities and modern restaurants where you can try delicacies such as Funge, Pirão and Moamba.
The Kavango-Zambezi Conservation Area (KAZA) stretches across five countries in southern Africa, including Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The entire area covers an area of around 444,000 km² – which is roughly the area of Germany and Austria. The area has so far been largely spared from tourists. But nature lovers from all over the world are increasingly discovering this cross-border natural attraction with its fascinating flora and fauna.
The protected area serves the following four purposes in particular:
- The preservation of biodiversity
- Creation of development opportunities for the local population
- Promotion of tourism
- Secure peace in the region through cross-border cooperation.