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Heritage Day: What It Means To Be Part of The Rainbow Nation

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Heritage Day: What It Means To Be Part of The Rainbow Nation

Whether you celebrate Heritage day, Shaka Day or Braai Day – 24 September is a day to embrace and honour the rich cultural history and wealth of our country

Heritage Day, which falls on 24 September, is a national holiday steeped in history, a day when South Africans reflect on what it truly means to be a part of the rainbow nation. As a country with 11 official languages and so many diverse cultures, this holiday is all about celebrating our diversity and what makes us unique as a country.

To do something memorable this year, look through our select events of cultural and historical Heritage Day events.

HOW IT CAME ABOUT
Heritage Day was not originally intended to be an official South African public holiday, but when the Public Holiday Bill presented in 1995 did not have 24 September included as a proposed public holiday, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) objected to the bill. In KwaZulu Natal (traditionally an IFP stronghold), the day was observed as Shaka Day, after the legendary King Shaka Zulu. After negotiations, a compromise was reached and the day was given its present title and recognised as an official public holiday.

WHAT’S WITH ALL THE DIFFERENT NAMES?
South African citizens also know Heritage Day as Shaka Day and National Braai Day. In KwaZulu-Natal, 24 September is celebrated as Shaka Day in commemoration of the legendary Zulu king, King Shaka, the founding father of the Zulu nation. It is also  commonly known as Braai Day. Although less formal, Braai Day is an initiative started by Jan Scannell (otherwise known as "Jan Braai"). He wanted this day to be about focusing on our shared culture rather than focusing on cultural division and thus proposed that South Africans celebrate their common roots by having a braai on Heritage Day.

Regardless of what you call this national holiday, the principal remains the same – it’s a day for celebrating what it means to be South African.

THINGS TO DO FOR HERITAGE DAY
Whether you’re wanting to celebrate your heritage in a special way or simply looking for something to do, we’ve handpicked a few of our favourite Heritage Day activities

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA

JANUARY

   

1 Jan

New Year's Day

Check out more events happening in January

MARCH

   

21 Mar

Human Rights Day

 

30 Mar

Good Friday

Check out more events happening in March

APRIL

   

2 Apr

Family Day

 

27 Apr

Freedom Day

Check out more events happening in April

MAY

   

1 May

Workers' Day

Check out more events happening in May

JUNE

   

16 Jun

Youth Day

Check out more events happening in June

AUGUST

   

9 Aug

National Women's Day

Check out more events happening in August

SEPTEMBER

   

24 Sept

Heritage Day

Check out more events happening in September

DECEMBER

   

16 Dec

Day of Reconciliation

 

25 Dec

Christmas Day

 

26 Dec

Day of Goodwill

Check out more events happening in December

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Here’s our overview of other South African public holidays.
In the spirit of Heritage Day, check out these indigenous foods.
Also, here are some awesome braai spots in Cape Town.
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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 capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Cape Town Events Calendar
May 2019
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