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 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.
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