Heritage Day on September 24 is a celebration of South Africa’s rich, vibrant, and diverse cultural heritage. Heritage Day exists because South Africa is known as the ”Rainbow Nation” due to its color and diversity, hence its nickname. It seeks to preserve and celebrate South African culture for what it truly is, embracing people of all ethnicities and genders. The day is typically commemorated with a barbecue known as a braai, and we recommend that you channel your inner South African by hosting your own barbecue.
The background of Heritage Day
September 24 was previously known in South Africa as Shaka Day, a day commemorating the Zulu King of Shaka. He was celebrated for uniting the Zulu lineage and establishing the Zulu nation. South Africans would annually congregate at his grave to honor him. The request to affirm the day as an official holiday was denied in 1995. After opposition from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), a majority Zulu party, it was determined that the day was necessary and would be known as ”Heritage Day.”
Since then, South Africans have commemorated Heritage Day by honoring the diverse cultural heritages that comprise their nation. Events are performed throughout
Some individuals choose to wear traditional attire in this country.
In 2005, there was a media campaign to have the day recognized as National Braai Day in recognition of the backyard barbeque tradition, but the holiday is still officially known as Heritage Day.
DAY OF HERITAGE ACTIVITIES
Research South African history
Perform some investigation on the cultural history of South Africa. Read up on their rigorous political history (start with the life of Nelson Mandela), racial injustices, languages, and culture in general. There is a great deal to learn! It will help you comprehend the day and its necessity better.
Prepare a Braai
Bring out the tongs, preheat the grill, and invite everyone. But if you want to have more enjoyment, attend a large braai with strangers. The purpose is to embrace one another.
Share your daily experiences on social media.
Use the hashtags #heritageday or #braaiiday to share what you did and what you may have learned today. In 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted their sentiments on Instagram regarding the day. The area has experienced a rise in intercommunity tension over the past few years, but days like today demonstrate how religion, traditions, food, and music bring people together and commemorate the things that unite us all.
5 FACTS CONCERNING HERITAGE DAY
Additionally known as National Braai Day.
79% of South Africa’s population is African.
1995 marked the first Heritage Day celebration.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation has recognized 10 heritage sites in South Africa.
Braais include Potjies, Shisha Nyama, and Spit Braais, among others.
HERITAGE DAY DATES