Tanzania’s public holidays are generally related to its wrestle with independence. Saba Saba Day (July 7) celebrates the founding of the Tanganyika African National Union; Nyerere Day (Oct 14) honors the country’s first president; Independence Day (Dec 9) commemorates independence from Great Britain in 1961; and Zanzibar Revolution Anniversary (Jan 12) remembers the day in 1964 when the Sultan of Zanzibar was overthrown.

Zanzibar is arguably the festival hub of Tanzania, hosting the Sauti Za Busara traditional music festival (February), the massive Dhow Countries & Zanzibar International Film Festival (July), and the Mwaka Kogwa New Year festival, to name but a few. On the mainland, Dar Es Salaam holds its Wanyambo music and food festival in January. Kilimanjaro hosts a February marathon that draws thousands of people from around the world. And Bagamoyo Arts Festival lasts for a week in September and features exotic, acrobatic displays and exhibitions.