The Kaapse Klopse is a minstrel festival that takes place annually on 2 January and it is also referred to as “Tweede Nuwe jaar”
(Second New Year), in Cape Town, South Africa.
As many as 13,000 minstrels take to the streets garbed in bright colours, either carrying colourful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments. The minstrels are self organised into klopse (“clubs” in Kaapse Afrikaans, but more accurately translated as troupes in English). Participants are typically from Afrikaans-speaking working class Cape coloured families who have
preserved the custom since the mid-19th century.
People consider the festival a right of renewal that has been shaped by the Cape’s history. The events that are associated with Klopse in the festive season include competitions for the Christmas Choirs, Cape Malay Choirs and Cape minstrel choirs.
Interestingly, it’s also likely that the term Coon Carnival, as the Kaapse Klopse was known for years before the name was officially changed to avoid offending people, comes from these visiting performers whose face paint made them look like racoons.