Fun for the whole family in Simons Town at the St. George and the Dragon festival organised annually by the Simon’s Town Business Association on a Saturday towards the end of April.
Come join in some medieval fun in Simon’s Town at the third annual St. George and the Dragon festival.
Jubilee Square comes alive with medieval festivities, kiddies events, food stall, a market, and much more, on Saturday 30 April 2016.

 

 

 

The legend of Saint George and the Dragon:

The legend of Saint George and the Dragon describes the saint taming and slaying a dragon that demanded human sacrifices; the saint thereby rescues the princess chosen as the next offering. The narrative is set in Cappadocia in the earliest sources of the 11th and 12th centuries, but transferred to Libya in the 13th-century Golden Legend.

The narrative has pre-Christian origins (Jason and Medea, Perseus and Andromeda, Typhon, etc.), and is recorded in various saints’ lives prior to its attribution to St George specifically. It was particularly attributed to Saint Theodore Tiro in the 9th and 10th centuries, and was first transferred to Saint George in the 11th century. The earliest narrative record of Saint George slaying a dragon is found in a Georgian text of the 11th century.

The legend and iconography spread rapidly through the Byzantine cultural sphere in the 12th century. It reached Western Christian tradition still in the 12th century, via the crusades. The knights of the First Crusade believed that St George with his fellow soldier-saints Demetrius, Maurice and Theodore had fought alongside them at Antioch and Jerusalem. The legend was popularised in Western tradition in the 13th century based on its Latin versions in the Speculum Historiale and the Golden Legend. At first limited to the courtly setting of Chivalric romance, the legend was popularised in the 13th century and became a favourite literary and pictorial subject in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance, and it has become an integral part of the Christian traditions relating to Saint George both in Eastern and Western tradition.

Source credit: wikipedia

We’re counting down to Heritage Weekend! There will be lots to do and enjoy in Simon’s Town from 22 – 24 September.

Stay over for a few days at one of our fantastic accommodation establishments and be part of the celebrations!

 

Heritage Day:

Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans across the spectrum are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions, in the wider context of a nation that belongs to all its people and includes the whole nation.

Why is Heritage Day important to us?

Heritage Day is an important public holiday in South Africa as it recognizes different aspects of South African culture and encourages South Africans across the spectrum to celebrate their cultural heritage, the diversity of their beliefs and different traditions.

Why is Heritage Day also called Braai Day?

The National Braai Day initiative aims to position National Heritage Day as South Africa’s annual day of celebration. We call on all South Africans to unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag on 24 September every year. National Heritage Day is a public holiday in South Africa.

The National Braai Day initiative aims to position National Heritage Day as South Africa’s annual day of celebration. We call on all South Africans to unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag on 24 September every year.

  • National Heritage Day is a public holiday in South Africa. Our government set this day aside for all South Africans to celebrate our rich heritage.
  • Across race, language, region and religion, we all share one common heritage. It is called many things: Chisa Nyama, Braai and Ukosa to name few. Although the ingredients may differ, the one thing that never changes is that when we have something to celebrate we light fires, and prepare great feasts.
  • We encourage all South Africans to unite around fires, share our heritage and wave our flag on 24 September every year.
  • We liken this initiative to annual celebrations cherished by other leading nations of the world; Thanksgiving for Americans, St Patricks Day for the Irish, Bastille Day for the French and Australia Day for Australians.
  • This is a noble cause, which will contribute to strengthening South Africa as a nation through this act of nation building and social cohesion.

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.

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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.

Source: Simons Town Business Association

Source: Wikipedia

Source: capetownmagazine.com

 

 

 

 

 

“Simonites” who live in this unique and attractive town will affirm that the best times of the year in Simon’s Town are the early and late winter months. These are the months when the rest of the Cape Peninsula is cold, wet and windy!

The secret lies in the fact that Simon’s Town is one of only three or four sea-side towns in South Africa that are north-facing, and Simon’s Bay is also sheltered from the strong north-west winter winds by the Cape Peninsula mountain chain on its northern and western aspects.

The climatic advantages of this sheltered bay, compared to the storm ravaged Table Bay, were appreciated by Simon van der Stel when in 1687 he personally surveyed and named Simon’s Bay. His recommendation to the Dutch East India Company (VOC), that Simon’s Bay become the winter harbour for their ships, was only implemented in 1744 after many sailing ships had been storm-wrecked in Table Bay. The Royal Navy also appreciated the safe shelter of Simon’s Bay and moved the headquarters of the Cape Fleet there in 1814. Simon’s Town has remained the main South African Naval Base ever since.

The historic village faces the sheltered bay with its placid waters which change colour with the tides and temperatures of the sea, or reflect the pale pink and silver shades of sunset. In winter the sun rises in splendid morning colours over the Hottentots-Holland Mountains across False Bay, and bathes Simon’s Town in warm winter sunshine for a far longer day than in most other places in the Cape Peninsula.

Of course it does rain occasionally in winter, but the long, cold and dreary days, associated with the Cape in winter are few. Even the strong, sometimes gale-force, north-west winds do not cause the havoc and damage seen along the Atlantic coast and in Table Bay.

The residents of Simon’s Town therefore seldom find it necessary to light a home fire or indoor heater in winter. In the mornings they sit on their sun-filled balconies overlooking the calm waters of Simon’s Bay, the busy harbour and the yacht basin. When the rain does come, it is usually very welcome!

The town centre is quiet in winter and parking is not a problem! Some residents may appreciate the absence of tourists, but most are happy to share this secret season and to welcome our visitors all year round.

What is there to do in Simon’s Town in the so-called off-season? For a start, Simon’s Town offers a large selection of restaurants and places to stay. There are two excellent hotels in Simon’s Town and a third in Glencairn, while numerous B&B or self-catering establishments offer a wide choice of alternative accommodation. Most are listed on this website. The town also offers a wide selection of excellent restaurants from five-star establishments to casual dining at smaller eateries, or “fish and chips” on the town jetty.

Winter is a time for walking, and from Simon’s Town you can walk south along the sea shore towards Cape Point, or north towards Fish Hoek and Muizenberg. The more energetic can walk up the Red Hill road, or via mountain steps, to the signal station and Just Nuisance’s grave on the plateau above the town. Long Beach provides a wonderful walk at sunset or the early morning, and a walk along Willis Way will take you past the Penguins, Boulders Beach and the Golf Course, with changing views across False Bay.

The Historic Mile, extending from the railway station to the Old Burying Ground, is a gentle one and a half kilometre walk. It passes many historic buildings such as Admiralty House and the newly-restored Palace Barracks, the ornate dockyard gates, the British Hotel and Jubilee Square, the centre of the town with a wonderful view over the yacht basin, and the life-size statue of that famous dog, Just Nuisance!

Along the way you will find inviting places to enjoy a cup of coffee, or a pancake, and perhaps take time to browse in several antique and curio shops. From Jubilee Square the road ascends slightly to pass the Dutch Reformed Church, where the music of the original South African Anthem, “Die Stem” was composed. The Historic Mile ends at the Old Burying Ground on the right with a fine view of the Harbour and the Martello Tower on the left. The Old Burying Ground which dates from 1813 has many graves of historic interest, including those of Boer Prisoners of War, some of those who perished in the Birkenhead tragedy, and of many young seamen lost at sea. A little further on Seaforth road leads down to the penguin colony.

The South African Navy is an integral part of Simon’s Town and although the harbour and dockyard are closed to visitors, the comings and goings of our own ships and visiting vessels are visible from almost anywhere in the town, and dockyard tours are arranged from time to time. The colourful yacht basin, home of the False Bay Yacht Club, lies alongside the harbour and the old Cable Restorer, docked on the outer harbour wall with its restaurant, “The Roaring Forties”, is available for special functions.

Should inclement weather occur, this is an ideal time to visit one of our several museums. The Simon’s Town Museum in Court Road is one of the best small museums in the country and the Naval Museum alongside it is of special interest. There are also the Toy Museum and the Heritage Museum nearer the centre of the town. The Bronze Age Foundry has a superb gallery, where bronze castings of international standard are on exhibition and for sale, and there is also a permanent Art Gallery in the Quayside Centre. The Simon’s Town Public Library, situated on the main road opposite the Police station, has attractive reading rooms and a large collection of books and magazines.

For the more adventurous, what better than a trip on the Bay? The Spirit of Just Nuisance operating from the town jetty offers cruises with an excellent commentary around the inner bay and harbour. Boat trips to Seal Island, Cape Point & whale watching (June-November) leave from the same jetty. A guided kayaking excursion to visit the penguins by sea is also highly recommended. Visitors are always welcome at the Simon’s Town Country Club which offers bowls and squash and has a formidable golf links. There are several safe beaches where some intrepid Simonites swim all year round, despite the cold water!

Close to the town several interesting and scenic routes explore the “Deep South”. Red Hill road provides spectacular views over False Bay, and of Simon’s Town and the harbour lying in the shelter of the Simon’s Berg. At the top of Red Hill a road turns off to the signal station and the grave of Just Nuisance, and then winds down towards the Atlantic Ocean. An impressive array of very large stone sculptures for sale stands alongside the first T-junction and is well worth a visit.

From here one road leads straight on to the entrance of the Cape Point Nature Reserve and Cape Point, while the right hand fork brings you to the picturesque village of Scarborough and then along the seaboard, with the huge Atlantic rollers breaking below, to Kommetjie. Here it is worth visiting the impressively tall Slangkop Lighthouse, open to visitors, and also the famous Kommetjie surfers’ beach. The road continues in a north-westerly direction towards Fish Hoek, but you can turn right at the crossroads, and return to Simon’s Town via Glencairn.

Cape Point and the Nature Reserve can also be reached by simply continuing along the Simon’s Town main road passing the golf course and Miller’s Point, after which the road ascends to the Park entrance. Baboons are almost always encountered along this road. Enjoy their antics, but please do not feed or tease them!

The friendly people of Simon’s Town will be happy to share their secret season with you, whether it is as a day visitor or a longer stay. We know that you will be back, or perhaps even wish to join the many who have been fortunate enough to make Simon’s Town their home.

 

Source: simonstown.com

3 Okt 2017
Celebrate African Penguin Awareness Day at our 15th annual Penguin Festival in collaboration with SANParks (Table Mountain National Park).

Certain to appeal to everyone from kids and foodies to birders and conservationists, the event kicks off at 10h00 on Seaforth Beach with a release of rehabilitated African penguins. Witnessing the release of penguins back to the wild is a heart-warming and exclusive opportunity for festival guests.

What’s even more rewarding is knowing that it is your support that makes our vital African penguin conservation work possible.
After the penguin release, the festival continues at the Simon’s Town Navy Sports Fields, next to Seaforth Beach, with:
•live music
•kids’ activities (mini rides, inflatable obstacle course, face-painting, jumping castle, climbing wall)
•an edutainment marquee
•marine conservation exhibitions
•environmental talks
•delicious food
•craft beer & wine tasting

All proceeds go to SANCCOB’s African penguin conservation work. General admission is free, and entry into the Kids’ Zone is R50 per person. Please park at the Seaforth Beach parking area.

For more information, contact us on 021 557 6155 or our co-hosts, SANParks, on 021 786 2329.

13 Sept 2017

15,16 and 17 September

Bigger, better, more competitive and more fun than ever before!

 

Sponsored by Harbour Bay, supported by Intasure, this 3 day festival of sailing is False Bay Yacht Club’s premier regatta and one of the biggest in the country. It attracts upward of 50 entries with representatives from all keelboat sailing clubs in the Western Cape. It is also the preparation event for the Mossel Bay off-shore race, which takes place the following weekend.

The event kicks off the summer sailing season in the Cape and is characterised by fantastic sailing off Simonstown, a competitive environment and a vibrant sailing festival atmosphere.

The False Bay Yacht Club will be a hive of activity with live music throughout the weekend and plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained. While activity on the water will be fast and furious, with ORC in-shore racing as well as medium distance races for the cruisers. This year, the event will also feature live tracking so those on shore can follow the action on the water.  This is one event on the Cape’s sporting calendar not to be missed.

The Spring regatta weekend features:

  • Happy hours and drinks promotions all weekend long!
  • Fun prizes every evening!
  • Harken winch grinding competition.
  • Lucky draws.
  • Crew packs on entry (competitors caps).
  • ORC classes and cruising classes (This is a unique opportunity for cruisers to scrape off the barnacles and have some competitive fun in a  controlled environment)
  • Live tracking on screen in the bar and internet.
  • Free mooring during the regatta!
LOCATION & DIRECTIONS

Located in the Port of Cape Town, RCYC offers a warm greeting and hospitality to weary sailors. Should you be a first time visitor, we invite you to discover the “Fairest Cape” with its bounty of scenery, wine farms, local cuisine and much much more.

RCYC HISTORY

The Club was founded as the Table Bay Yacht Club in 1905 and commenced operation as such in a waterside boatshed located some 50 to 60 metres northward of the foot of Loop Street. Surviving early vicissitudes, the club’s name was changed in 1914 to the Cape Yacht Club which incorporated the Alfred Rowing Club and shortly after we received the Royal Charter to become the Royal Cape Yacht Club.

Buffeted by change we moved from clubhouse to clubhouse, and it was not until the decade after the 2nd World War (1939 – 1945) that the shell of the present clubhouse came to be erected. It was added to when the local yachting boom – started by the first Trans-Atlantic Race from Cape Town to Rio de Janeiro in 1971 – took off and changed the Club from a small membership of around 300 to the present figure of some 3000.

The Club House, 1905

Boat accommodation was forced to progress from swing moorings to the marina’s of today. Likewise control had to pass from amateur committees to the professional staff which you will find today.

Boat accommodation progressed from swinging moorings to the club marina of today. Likewise control had to pass from amateur committees to the professional staff which now operates the club. The Royal Cape Yacht Club sits at the foot of Africa, a quiet enclave tucked away in the bustle of Cape Town’s docks. It is a prime location for sailors looking for respite from stormy weather and the club has hosted thousands of weary sailors over the years.

The first committee, April 1905

The club itself is modest, a low-slung building that houses offices, a first class restaurant and a bar where more tall tales have been told than on any other patch of earth. Its relaxed atmosphere and view over crowded docks bustling with activity is a very pleasant way to while away a long lunch or a cozy, romantic dinner.

The Club hosts important sailing events including the Country’s premier keelboat regattas. The Cape to Rio and South Atlantic Races have been hosted by Royal Cape Yacht Club since inception in 1971. Other international events have included the Whitbread Race, the BT Global Challenge, The BOC Around Alone Race, the Volvo Race, The Lisbon Expo 98, Clippers, and the Hong Kong Challenge, to name but a few. Down the centuries, the Southern tip of the African continent, has extended a welcome to seafarers, gaining for the city the soubriquet of the “Tavern of the Seas”

Opening Cruise 1907

The Club has a Development Sail Training program which has been in operation for several years. We have now teamed up with Izivunguvungu in Simon’s Town and between the two organisations have trained quite a few young sailors who are now competing in major offshore races.

Throughout all these changes the spirit of the Club of which we are so proud has been maintained and handed down in a tradition which has survived the changes time has imposed on us.