Day of Reconciliation (Public Holiday)

Different racial groups stand together for the sake of the future of South Africa


Coming into effect after the 1994 democratic elections, the Day of Reconciliation – 16 December – was inaugurated to help South Africans reconcile the horrors of the past and the promise of a shared future together, regardless of race, culture or creed.

However, during the Apartheid era, 16 December was known as Day of the Vow (also known as Day of the Covenant or Dingaan's Day). The public holiday was created to commemorate a vow taken by the Voortrekkers, a group of Afrikaaners who had moved inland to escape the clutches of British colonialism, in preparation for a battle with the Zulu people with which they were having a land dispute.

The Voortrekkers, who had moved onto and claimed the Zulu people’s land, took a vow before God that they would build a church for their descendants to observe the day as a day of thanksgiving should they be granted victory. More than 10 000 Zulu troops under the command of Dambuza (Nzobo) and Nhlela attacked the Voortrekkers on 16 December 1838, but the 470 Voortrekkers, with the advantage of gunpowder, warded them off. Only three Voortrekkers were wounded, but more than 3 000 Zulus were killed during what would become known as the ‘Battle of Blood River’.

In the 1920s and 1930s the public holiday became a day on which the divide between white South Africans and black South Africans became especially gaping. Those who felt discriminated against by the nation’s unfair laws began staging protests and holding meetings on this day to communicate their dissent and to rally against a day that celebrated the Afrikaans conquest of the indigenous African. Even into the 1960s, the day retained significance; on 16 December 1961 uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) (Spear of the Nation) the military wing of the ANC announced its existence by launching its first acts of sabotage.

With the advent of democracy and a gallant gesture by the new government in South Africa, 16 December retained its status as a public holiday, however, this time with the intent of building a nation and unity amongst its people.

Check out our overview of things to do on the Day of Reconciliation in Cape Town.

2018 CALENDAR OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA


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Plan your year with our nifty overview of public holidays in South Africa. Alternatively, have a squiz at our guide to annual December events to find out about more hot happenings taking place during the month.

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Check out our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

 

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Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2017
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Reconciliation Day: MCQPThings to do for the Day of Reconciliation in Cape Town

Recognise the past, celebrate the future and make the most of the Day on Reconciliation this year

Oude 2Enjoy a night of entertainment with the family under the stars at Oude Libertas Amphitheatre

Picturesque views form the backdrop to this open-air Oude Libertas theatre. It’s just waiting to host you and your family for a night of delight

Dinos Alive 2017 1DinosAlive Dinosaur Exhibition and Play Park

Grab the kids and jump back to the Jurassic period at this awesome interactive edutainment activity

Darling Brew - 2The Darling Summer Beer Festival is Back

Because beer festivals this time of the year just make sense…

Runstacle 4Run, Jump, Crawl and Walk all With Runstacle the Obstacle Course Fun Run

Enjoy a trail run with obstacles suitable for all ages, with Runstacle

Corne and TwakkieCorne and Twakkie are Back with The Most Amazing Show

The once-popular The Most Amazing Show, featuring Corne and Twakkie, is back and it promises to be an evening of laugh-a-minute fun!

Gugulethu Seven Monument Reconciliation Day RaceRCS Gugulethu Reconciliation Day Race

Trot through the streets of one of Cape Town’s largest townships this 16 December

Corona bungalowCorona SunSets Festival Returns to Cape Town for the Ultimate Beach Party

Jonas Blue, Klingande, Mi Casa, TIMO ODV and more to perform at the Corona SunSets Festival returning to Cape Town on Saturday, 16 December

Tea 5Stompers Unite for the 13-Hour Multi-Genre Tea in the Tree Music Festival

Sister festival to Into the Wild, Tea in the Tree is a music extravaganza consisting of acoustic, electronic, disco, house, techno and melodic electronica

King Kong MusicalKing Kong is back in Cape Town for its Final Run

Celebrate the comeback of this historic musical. WATCH: Video footage of the original King Kong Musical

saflag1Day of Reconciliation (Public Holiday)

Different racial groups stand together for the sake of the future of South Africa

Galileo - BlaauwklippenA Weekend Spent with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Start your weekend with a little inner-city or wineland movie screening

Ratanga Junction Cape TownRatanga Junction Open for the Summer Season

The home of the Cobra offers thrill seekers one last ride.

Queen in Exile 2Athi-Patra Ruga's Queens in Exile at WHATIFTHEWORLD

The renowned artist’s latest body of work is about telling better stories, ultimately creating a world where the exiled can reign again (watch trailer)

MCQO - 1It’s MCQP Party Time Cape Town… Is Your Outfit Ready?

Get your suit of armour ready people, it’s all about the Dungeons and Dragons at Africa’s biggest and longest-running costume party

Palm Black TattooHand Poke Tattoo Techniques in the City

If it was good enough for the Romans, it’ll be good enough for you

Bay Harbour MarketSoothe Your Soul with Live Music at Bay Harbour Market Every Saturday

Celebrate our unique South African spirit with live music at one of Cape Town’s most vibrant markets every Saturday

Kirstenbosch Summer ConcertsThe Annual Carols By Candlelight at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Sing along to popular Christmas songs at Cape Town’s historic gardens this December

Kaapse Stories at The Rockwell TheatreDinner and a Show with Rockwell Theatre

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Cape Town gets told to your mom, dad, tannie, ouma, second cousin and neighbour down the street

Wine FliesWine Flies Give You an Experience Like No Other

Take the road less travelled with this boutique touring company

Bay Harbour MarketYoung Saturdays at Bay Harbour Market

The new Young Saturdays programme at the Bay Harbour Market promises hours of creative fun for their youngest visitors

MAReSOLSatisfying Specials at MAReSOL Restaurant

Food that will make your palate and pocket happy

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

kiff kombi toursCraft Beer Safari with Kiff Kombi Tours

Get a 15% discount on a Kiff Kombi Craft Beer Safari Tour when booking for five people or more

The Backyard Grill Lounge RibsBBQ Ribs Special at The Backyard Grill Lounge

Savour succulent, sticky ribs for just R150 per kilogram on Wed, Sat and Sun

The Queen and PeasantThe Queen and Peasant Weekend Meet and Greets

Treat yourself to a tasting of fine wines, beers and spirits this weekend

HintHuntHave a Happy Birthday at HintHunt

Trade Table Dancing and Bottle Service for a Birthday You’re Sure to Remember

Radisson-Blu-Waterfront-Nov-2014-139.jpgSaturday Seafood Grill at Radisson Blu’s Flagship Restaurant

This three-course seafood buffet is Saturday night done the right way

Oude 2Enjoy a night of entertainment with the family under the stars at Oude Libertas Amphitheatre

Picturesque views form the backdrop to this open-air Oude Libertas theatre. It’s just waiting to host you and your family for a night of delight

Dinos Alive 2017 1DinosAlive Dinosaur Exhibition and Play Park

Grab the kids and jump back to the Jurassic period at this awesome interactive edutainment activity

OM Revolution Sunday Sunset Clifton Beach Yoga Classes With The Om Revolution

Embrace your inner yogi on the beach and end the weekend off right!

cpt womens network Cape Town Women’s Network Anniversary Lunch

Sit down to a leisurely and inspiring lunch with some of the city’s most dynamic professional women

Tobago's Restaurant and BarEat Away the Sunday Blues at Tobago’s Restaurant and Bar

Sundays well spent bring a week of content

Corne and TwakkieCorne and Twakkie are Back with The Most Amazing Show

The once-popular The Most Amazing Show, featuring Corne and Twakkie, is back and it promises to be an evening of laugh-a-minute fun!

Tea 5Stompers Unite for the 13-Hour Multi-Genre Tea in the Tree Music Festival

Sister festival to Into the Wild, Tea in the Tree is a music extravaganza consisting of acoustic, electronic, disco, house, techno and melodic electronica

marc lottering cape town comedy clubHalf-Price Sundays Stand-Up at Cape Town Comedy Club

Laugh 50% off top-notch entertainment every last day of the week at this one-stop-funny-shop

King Kong MusicalKing Kong is back in Cape Town for its Final Run

Celebrate the comeback of this historic musical. WATCH: Video footage of the original King Kong Musical

Cape Town ParksConcerts in the Park

Pack a picnic, the kiddies and even your furry friends to enjoy free live music in the city’s parks.

Newlands Spring Market - 5It’s Christmas Time at the Newlands Spring Market

Their first market was such a success that they’re coming back for a Christmas edition

Galileo - BlaauwklippenA Weekend Spent with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Start your weekend with a little inner-city or wineland movie screening

Ratanga Junction Cape TownRatanga Junction Open for the Summer Season

The home of the Cobra offers thrill seekers one last ride.

Queen in Exile 2Athi-Patra Ruga's Queens in Exile at WHATIFTHEWORLD

The renowned artist’s latest body of work is about telling better stories, ultimately creating a world where the exiled can reign again (watch trailer)

Palm Black TattooHand Poke Tattoo Techniques in the City

If it was good enough for the Romans, it’ll be good enough for you

Good Company Market - 5Bring the Family to the Good Company Sunday Market in the CBD

You’ll be in good company at this Sunday market in the city

Galileo - Kelvin Grove - 4Take the Kids for a School Holiday Treat with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Moana, Up and Home Alone are all on the line-up!

Kirstenbosch Summer ConcertsThe Annual Carols By Candlelight at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

Sing along to popular Christmas songs at Cape Town’s historic gardens this December

Cafe ExtrablattSunday Brunch at Café Extrablatt

Home to one of Cape Town’s most affordable all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets

Kirstenbosch Summer ConcertsKirstenbosch Goes Big for 2017/2018 Concert Series

24 concerts featuring 30 acts including 6 international artists, spread out over 20 weeks; the best summer of your life!

Goldfish Concert at Shimmy Beach ClubCelebrate Summer at this Seaside Beach Club

Cape Town’s favourite electronic duo shake things up over the 2017/2018 summer

Markets3Sunday markets in and around Cape Town

Take it easy this Sunday at one of these great Sunday markets to take a stroll through

MAReSOLSatisfying Specials at MAReSOL Restaurant

Food that will make your palate and pocket happy

sea kayaking 12 apostlesSea Kayaking Weekend Family Special

Buy one adult kayaking ticket and get a kids ticket FREE with Kaskazi

ScootoursJunior Passengers Ride FREE Every Sunday with Scootours®

This exciting off-road adventure provides fun for the whole family

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

GONOW LogoGet a discount on Sunday Sunsets with GONOW Electric Bicycles!

Watch the sun set over the Sea Point Promenade from an electric two-wheeler at half the price!

Food at Thali Thali Game Lodge and Reserve Sunday Lunch Buffet at Thali Thali Game Lodge

Cap off the weekend with a hearty, affordable spread at this family-friendly West Coast reserve

The Backyard Grill Lounge RibsBBQ Ribs Special at The Backyard Grill Lounge

Savour succulent, sticky ribs for just R150 per kilogram on Wed, Sat and Sun

Dizzys Camps BayDizzys Beer Pong and DJ Sundays Competition

Are you Cape Town’s next beer pong champ?

Bugz Playpark in Cape TownSunday Funday at Bugz Playpark

Every Sunday, CapeTownMagazine.com readers can enjoy a day of fun and learning with their children.

Piano Bar 2016 food and cocktails 5Bubbly Special at The Piano Bar

Make this charming musical revue haunt home on Sunday afternoons for half price glasses of MCC

nude foodsNude Foods is the new kid on the ...

Cape Town’s first plastic-free grocer is now open

SGT Pepper 4New Year’s Eve at Sgt Pepper

Rock out this New Year Eve’s with Jimi, Freddie and the rest of the gang at ...

tp picnicGet ready for the 8th Annual TP Le ...

Enjoy festive family fun at its best at this Winelands picnic

Groote Schuur Ratanga Junction FundraiserJoin the rumble in the jungle at ...

Welcome 2018 at “the wildest place in Africa”

Julep3 American Whiskey Cocktail Recipes to ...

Become a master mixologist with these American Whiskey cocktail recipes

Youngsta CPTSalutas… it’s YoungstaCPT’s ...

Time to try something different in the Mother City by heading to ...

Wild Fig 3Laid-Back Live Music at the Wild Fig ...

Good times and great tunes at this free music event at the popular local ...

Barry HiltonLocal Legend Barry Hilton to Hit Stage ...

Classic South African comedy in an iconic Winelands setting – what better way ...

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