The ban was very unpopular with young Swazis
A pile of thousands of woollen tassels symbolising chastity has been set on fire in Swaziland to mark the end of a sex ban imposed by King Mswati III.
The secret ceremony took place at the crack of dawn. Men were banned.
After the tassels were burnt, some 30,000 Swazi girls danced in the national stadium in front of the king, before feasting on slaughtered cattle.
The ban was started by the king in 2001 to fight the spread of HIV/Aids. Some 40% of Swazi citizens are HIV positive.
However, the ban was ended a year early amid strong criticism. No official reason was given.
Just two months after imposing the ban, the king fined himself a cow for breaking the ban by taking a 17-year-old girl as his ninth wife, sparking unprecedented protests by Swazi women outside the royal palace.
As they danced, there were mixed feelings about the tassels.
"We are so happy that King Mswati ordered us to take off the woollen tassels," said 18-year-old Nombulelo Dlamini. "They were no use because some girls fell pregnant while wearing the same tassels."
King Mswati is due to choose a new bride next week
She said she had hid hers "because a lot of boys were making fun of us whenever we were spotted wearing them."
But Bongiwe Nkampule, 16, said she would feel "vulnerable to abuse" without them.
"Wearing the tassels was good for us young girls because men were scared to touch and abuse us," she said.
As they arrived at the Queen Mother's palace on Monday, before taking off their tassels, they sang in jest: "At last, we can now have sex."
King Mswati has warned young Swazis that although the ban has ended, they should still not sleep around.
New figures released by the health ministry last week show that 29% of Swazi citizens aged 15-19 are HIV positive.
For pregnant women, the figures are 42%: the highest infection rate in the world.
The BBC's Thulani Mthethwa in Swaziland says the ban was very unpopular with young Swazis.
He says that few girls in urban areas wore the tassels.
If propositioned by a man, the girls were supposed to throw the tassels outside his house and his family would have to pay a fine of a cow.
But many Swazis were unhappy that King Mswati's daughters were rarely seen wearing the tassels.
Our correspondent says that in rural areas, the tassels were common because the ban was enforced by local chiefs and some schools insisted that girls wore them to get a place.
The ban ends a day before the start of the annual reed ceremony.
This culminates next Monday, with a reed dance at which the king is set to choose his next bride.
King Mswati now has 12 wives and a fiancee.
His late father, King Sobhuza II, who led the country to independence in 1968, had more than 70 wives when he died in 1982.