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Day of Reconciliation (South African Public Holiday)

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Day of Reconciliation (South African Public Holiday)

A SA public holiday where all racial groups are invited to come together to promote reconciliation and national unity for the future of South Africa

In South Africa, the Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday that was created post-1994 by SA’s first non-racial and democratic government with the intention to foster reconciliation between different racial groups and aimed at promoting national unity and focusing people’s attention on the shared future of South Africa.

And, it’s perhaps best encapsulated by beloved former president Nelson Mandela’s words in his 1996 speech at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town:

WATCH: NELSON MANDELA ON RECONCILIATION AND UNITY

In 2018, 16 December falls on a Sunday, which means that the following Monday 17 December is a public holiday. Long weekend anyone? Discover exciting and interesting things to do over the Day of Reconciliation weekend.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF 16 DECEMBER
The date of the annual observance, 16 December, traditionally held significance for different groups of South Africans. Previously known as the Day of the Vow in Afrikaner culture, it marked the commemoration of the Battle of Blood River in 1838.

More recently, though, 16 December 1961 was the day of the formation of the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), Umkhonto we Sizwe (the Spear of the Nation). This is important as it marked a turning point in SA history where the ANC launched an armed struggle against the then-ruling apartheid government.

Before this day, the ANC promoted mainly passive resistance. But the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960 changed all of that. Police indiscriminately opening fire on peaceful protestors sparked the creation of Umkhonto we Sizwe the following year. The rest is history. And Umkhonto we Sizwe has been celebrated on 16 December ever since.

A NEW MEANING: DAY OF RECONCILIATION
South Africa’s first democratically-elected government under former president Nelson Mandela in 1994 ventured to give 16 December a new meaning in the minds of South Africans. The aim was to take the day, which had significance for various cultural groups, and change its symbolism to one of promoting reconciliation and unity. And on 16 December 1995, the first-ever Day of Reconciliation was celebrated as a public holiday in South Africa – as it has been ever since.

 

CALENDAR OF PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA

JANUARY

1 JAN

New Year's Day

MARCH

21 MAR

Human Rights Day

30 MAR

Good Friday

APRIL

1 APR

Family Day (Easter Sunday)

27 APR

Freedom Day

MAY

1 MAY

Worker’s Day

JUNE

16 JUN

Youth Day

AUGUST

9 AUG

National Women's Day

SEPTEMBER

24 SEP

Heritage Day

DECEMBER

16 DEC

Day of Reconciliation

25 DEC

Christmas Day

26 DEC

Day of Goodwill

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Explore things to do this Day of Reconciliation in Cape Town and new events every weekend.

Discover more events in December, as well as things to do over Christmas in Cape Town and where to find exciting New Year’s Eve parties.

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Cape Town Events Calendar
December 2018
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Harbour House 2Meet-up Mondays: Sushi and Wine at this ...

Get a free glass of wine with a sushi platter at Harbour House V&A Waterfront

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

Santa's Village V&A WaterfrontV&A Waterfront Opens Santa’s Village ...

Flying in from the North Pole, Santa will be in Cape Town to see if kids have been ...

Panasonic_Siya_360% Off On Electronics at NEW Panasonic ...

Do your Christmas shopping at the all-new Panasonic pop-up store at Panasonic House in ...

Botane Skin Actives New Images 2Get 20% Off BOTANē Skin Actives ...

Simplified skin health for less in store this holiday season

pinelands_marketGet Festive At Pinelands Craft & Gift ...

Free entry to this market brimming with delicious food and good quality, well-priced ...

Summer Glice Rink Mini Neon Pop-up Summer Ice Skating ...

You read that right, kids can go ice skating in summer

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

legends_live_in_concertCelebrate The Music Legends All On One ...

A talented 10-piece cast impersonates music legends to perfection

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

2 4 1 hqHQ: Not Such a Blue Monday After All

HQ’s #2FOR1Monday: Live acoustic music and two Salad, Steak and Chips set menus for the ...

KewpieAn Inspiring Message of Diversity and ...

The vibrant diversity of District Six comes alive with an exhibition about a famously ...

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

AroundAboutCars 3 Get R100 Off Your Next Hired Car From ...

Quote “CapeTownMagazine” when booking a car through AroundAboutCars and get R100 off

danielasSample Daniela's Exotic Macarons For ...

Salted caramel, purple surprise, ginger sesame, cinnamon milk tart and 20 more Parisian ...

Le Bonheur 12Get a 20% Discount on Accommodation at ...

Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures offers patrons a 20% discount when they stay at this ...

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Cartel House 8Get a Co-Work Desk Discount Plus Free ...

Book your hot desk at this ultra-luxe Cape Town co-working space provider this Monday and ...

soccerCape Town City Take On Chippa United ...

Will City win again?

Cherry Picking Ceres Klondyke Farm 3Cherry On Top: Klondyke Kicks Off ...

Pick your cherries and eat them too at this family-friendly cherry farm in Ceres

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

tigersmilk26Get 2-for-1 Burgers Every Monday at any ...

Make the most of your Mondays by getting more than you bargained for at all Tiger’s ...

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