Al Jazeera World

Sebeiba festival: Algeria’s 3,000 year-old tradition

Thousands from the Tuareg community in Algeria flock to the annual Sebeiba festival held in an oasis town deep in the Sahara.

Sebeiba is an annual Tuareg cultural event held in the oasis of Djanet, in the extreme south of Algeria.

This colourful festival dates back thousands of years and since 2014 has been a UNESCO ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ event.

Sebeiba’s rituals and ceremonies offer a fascinating insight into the cultural heritage of the Tuareg people, a community found across the Sahara that makes up a tiny part of Algeria’s population.

At the heart of the 10-day festival is a hard-fought music and dance competition between two rival villages, Azellouaz and El Mihan. There can only ever one winner of Sebeiba – at least until next year.