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
October 2021
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Norval_Foundation_Cape_Town_Athi-Patra_Ruga_installationOn at Norval Foundation

Athi-Patra Ruga’s iridescent art on black pioneers + more in Sculpture Garden

Southern_Guild_Cape_Town_South_Africa_Rich_Mnisi_NyokaOn at the Southern Guild

Free: See fashion prodigy Rich Mnisi’s bewitching furniture exhibition

Kite Festival 2021_OctopusThe sky’s the limit at this annual ...

Kite-making, discussions + kite displays at 2021 Kite Festival

Uber Go Cape Town We asked you where you would go with a ...

Your answers were delightful (plus Uber Go explained)

Wolfkop Camping Villages and Nature ReserveWolfkop holiday specials: glamp for up ...

Plus 9 activities also at half-price: bodyboard the Olifants, hike, see rock paintings ...

Escape Room Game Cape TownPlay Cape Town’s original Live Escape ...

The door closes. You have 60 minutes to get out...

Wonderdal Tree of Light Have the birthday party your child ...

Includes a colourful Amuki cake, party bag + 7 edu-zones to explore

Oasis Association Claremont coffee shopDo Good

3 ways to do it at Oasis: shop, donate or take your recycling there

Samadhi HouseUber luxury Cape Town villa at an ...

House, cottage, tennis court, gym, pool + incredible views at an excellent special

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

Cakes too beautiful to eat, short rib dumplings and gorgeous harbour views

Zsa Zsa Cape Town Craving a wild night out? Zsa Zsa Cape ...

Nightly live performances, theatrical cocktails + decadent menu

Leopards LeapLeopards Leap serves succulent ...

It’s family friendly, has a harvest table, plus there’s a big lawn to play on

Beach barA beach bar in Paarl!

Pizza, beach vibes, cocktails, and stunning views, the recipe for a perfect day

Distillers & Union Make your unique brand of gin

And there’s more: vodka, rum, fiery ginger beer plus the chance to tour this working ...

LeMottetastingVirtual and on-site wine tastings at ...

Or do this specialised La Motte wine-tasting virtually

Norval_Foundation_Cape_Town_Athi-Patra_Ruga_installationOn at Norval Foundation

Athi-Patra Ruga’s iridescent art on black pioneers + more in Sculpture Garden

Southern_Guild_Cape_Town_South_Africa_Rich_Mnisi_NyokaOn at the Southern Guild

Free: See fashion prodigy Rich Mnisi’s bewitching furniture exhibition

Kite Festival 2021_OctopusThe sky’s the limit at this annual ...

Kite-making, discussions + kite displays at 2021 Kite Festival

Uber Go Cape Town We asked you where you would go with a ...

Your answers were delightful (plus Uber Go explained)

Wolfkop Camping Villages and Nature ReserveWolfkop holiday specials: glamp for up ...

Plus 9 activities also at half-price: bodyboard the Olifants, hike, see rock paintings ...

Escape Room Game Cape TownPlay Cape Town’s original Live Escape ...

The door closes. You have 60 minutes to get out...

Wonderdal Tree of Light Have the birthday party your child ...

Includes a colourful Amuki cake, party bag + 7 edu-zones to explore

Oasis Association Claremont coffee shopDo Good

3 ways to do it at Oasis: shop, donate or take your recycling there

Samadhi HouseUber luxury Cape Town villa at an ...

House, cottage, tennis court, gym, pool + incredible views at an excellent special

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

Cakes too beautiful to eat, short rib dumplings and gorgeous harbour views

Zsa Zsa Cape Town Craving a wild night out? Zsa Zsa Cape ...

Nightly live performances, theatrical cocktails + decadent menu

Leopards LeapLeopards Leap serves succulent ...

It’s family friendly, has a harvest table, plus there’s a big lawn to play on

Beach barA beach bar in Paarl!

Pizza, beach vibes, cocktails, and stunning views, the recipe for a perfect day

LeMottetastingVirtual and on-site wine tastings at ...

Or do this specialised La Motte wine-tasting virtually

You’ll find plenty of wooden crafts there, including these items made out of old wine barrels. Image: Capetownmagazine.com
Hermanus Country Market

5 good reasons to go

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Mygrow’s app boosts employee wellbeing and resilience

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PLUS how Neil du Plessis got the CapeTownMagazine.com team in shape 

Infinite Cafe_(Interior3)Infinite Café is Cape Town’s newest ...

Guilt-free delectable dishes that will satisfy any foodie

Distillers&Union_Cape_Town_new_premisesLearn to make your own gin

Master distillers will guide you to make the perfect bottle to suit your taste

discoveries_archive2The Archive: Where You Get A View Of ...

Enjoy a cuppa at the coffee shop, then ask the barista about a tour

Wildsprout_Kenilworth_Cape_Town_mealWildSprout Wholefoods Serves Healthy ...

Colourful food, earthy decor, fresh organic produce + more

Two_Oceans_Aquarium_Dive_School_Cape_TownTwo Oceans Aquarium is a PADI-certified ...

Training everyone from novices, to experts + kids 10 years up

Kirstenbosch Hi Tec 8Top Picnic Spots in Cape Town

A selection of the best places to picnic in the Mother City and surrounds

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