Heritage Day (Public Holiday)

Celebrate South African cultural diversity


Heritage day (24 September), also known as National Braai Day as the result of a pointed 2005 media campaign, was not originally intended to be an official South African public holiday. But when the Inkatha Freedom Party, a political party with a large Zulu membership, refused to sign the Public Holiday’s Bill that was being presented to the Parliament of South Africa because it omitted the inclusion of Shaka Day, a day that commemorated the famous Zulu King Shaka, a concession was made.

Quite aptly, just as King Shaka was instrumental in uniting Zulu clans into a cohesive nation, Heritage Day (appointed in place of King Shaka Day) encourages South Africans to  come together to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and the diversity of our rainbow nation.

Former South African President Nelson Mandela concisely explained it when he said the following in a Heritage Day speech: "When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation”.

Things to do this Heritage Day
Whether you’re looking into celebrating your heritage in a special way or simply looking for something to do, we’ve developed a good overview of Heritage Day activities. Now, unofficially known as Braai Day – thanks to the efforts of Jan Braai – families, friends and strangers unite at various events around the country celebrating South Africa’s unique heritage and building bridges to overcome its painful past by chucking a tjoppie on the fire. 

More on Braaing in Cape Town & Surrounds
Don’t have a braai of your own?  No worries, check out our listing of top braai spots in Cape Town. Don’t know the first thing about chisa nyama? Don’t stress, all you need to know and more about becoming the ultimate braaimaster.

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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA
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JANUARY

1 JAN

New Year's Day

MARCH

21 MAR

Human Rights Day

25 MAR

Good Friday

27 MAR

Family Day (Easter Sunday)

APRIL

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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For more hot and happening things to do, check out the annual events in Cape Town or use 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!

Cape Town Events Calendar
 
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pop-up green homeSee Cape Town’s first net zero carbon ...

Have your first experience of an entirely sustainable home at Green Point Park from 1 - ...

WSDC BoatSpectacular rates on shark cage diving ...

For R700 less. Plus ask for current readers’ specials

Riebeek Kasteel EventGallery Riebeek Kasteel shows off the ...

This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history

Rupert Museum Add Rupert Museum to your Stellenbosch ...

Legendary Sam Nhlengethwa has an exhibition and playing personal vinyl collection

Glen carlouFine art, excellent wine, delicious ...

Take the day and visit this top wine farm to view local art and eat exceptional food

Maker's LandingMaker’s Landing, the Waterfront’s ...

Sticky koesisters, authentic Cape Malay curry and gorgeous harbour views

africamps7Discover South Africa with these great ...

From the pet-friendly Stanford Hills to a camp located on a large fishing dam in Limpopo

Watershed 2Known favourites and new discoveries at ...

825 square-meters of the best in African art, craft, design, and now beauty

pop-up green homeSee Cape Town’s first net zero carbon ...

Have your first experience of an entirely sustainable home at Green Point Park from 1 - ...

WSDC BoatSpectacular rates on shark cage diving ...

For R700 less. Plus ask for current readers’ specials

Ficks cocktail 2Ficks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

VW California CaravelleHave you ever seen a Kombi with a ...

And a pop-up rooftop bed, a dining table and an extended roof?

Riebeek Kasteel EventGallery Riebeek Kasteel shows off the ...

This country village also offers good food, excellent wine + lots of history

Rupert Museum Add Rupert Museum to your Stellenbosch ...

Legendary Sam Nhlengethwa has an exhibition and playing personal vinyl collection

Glen carlouFine art, excellent wine, delicious ...

Take the day and visit this top wine farm to view local art and eat exceptional food

Maker's LandingMaker’s Landing, the Waterfront’s ...

Sticky koesisters, authentic Cape Malay curry and gorgeous harbour views

africamps7Discover South Africa with these great ...

From the pet-friendly Stanford Hills to a camp located on a large fishing dam in Limpopo

Whale Rock LodgeWhales, wine and a special reader’s ...

Get 10% off your Hermanus holiday plus a complimentary bottle of wine

Whale Rock LodgeKids, families, couples: everyone will ...

Pools, Cliff Path walks, luxury bedrooms and historical nuggets to find

WSDC BoatSpectacular rates on shark cage diving ...

For R700 less. Plus ask for current readers’ specials

pop-up green homeSee Cape Town’s first net zero carbon ...

Have your first experience of an entirely sustainable home at Green Point Park ...

Romans Villa outdoor breakfast areaRomans Villa is for luxury, ...

5-room romantic hideout where “people come to fall in love”

Ficks cocktail 2Ficks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

plane_1Travel and transport under lockdown

Five airports open for international travel in alert level 1

coronavirus-cape-town-together_1DEVELOPING: Coronavirus COVID-19 in ...

Cape Town’s sees a big drop in Covid death burials for February + more ...

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