What comes into your mind when you hear of a public holiday? To some, there is that feeling of excitement knowing that a public holiday means no work. For others, they want to take the chance to celebrate the day by going out whether with family or alone, joining others for important national celebrations to mention a few. The South Africa public holidays are quite a number. SA holidays are a mix of internationally recognized holidays and national holidays only celebrated in South Africa. We have gone out of our way to mention for you public holidays South Africa 2018, it may have passed, but that should not worry you. You now know that the same date next year the same holiday will be celebrated.
Keep scrolling on to this article and be on the know.
Public holidays in South Africa and their significance
1. New Years Day
From the list of public holidays South Africa, this is the first holiday. The new years day is celebrated in a lot of countries around the world. All countries which use the Georgian calendar celebrate this holiday on the 1st day of January every single year. A flurry of activities has traditionally marked this holiday, I mean, you are ushering in another year. Fireworks are a common occurrence during this holiday. So for 2019, find yourself a good spot where you can view some great fireworks displays.
2. Human Rights Day
This is one of the South Africa holidays with historical significance. On the 21st of March 1960, the popular Sharpsville anti-apartheid demonstrations were held. The events for that day would culminate in several other activities undertaken on the same day of that month that would lead to the creation of the Human Rights Day. The United Nations declared the day as The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Other events that occurred on this day that was significant was the launch of the South African Human Rights Commision.
3. Good Friday
This holiday, which fell on the 30th of March this year, is considered a Christian holiday. However, in some countries like South Africa, the day is classified as a national holiday. It is usually celebrated on the Friday before Easter. In 2019, the holiday will fall on April 19th.
4. Family Day
What is widely known as Easter Monday is celebrated as Family Day in South Africa. It is one of the most important holidays in the Christian calendar. Faithful people around the globe usually mark this holiday, and it comes after the Easter Sunday. In this year, 2018, the holiday fell on the 2nd of April. In 2019, the holiday will be celebrated on the 22nd of April.
4. Freedom Day
Do you have an idea of the date the first non-racial elections after the apartheid regime were held? Let us go into the history books for a while. The primary elections of this kind were held on the 27th of April in 1994, and Nelson Mandela was elected president during that election. The events of that day were what led to it being a National holiday, a day of significance in the history of South Africa. The public holidays South Africa calendar in 2018 saw that the holiday is celebrated on a Friday. However, had it fallen on a Sunday, then the following Monday would have been observed as a holiday too.
5. Workers Day
The workers day or Labour Day, as some countries celebrate it, is a holiday celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide. The holiday is meant to show the country's working population appreciation for their role in developing the country. On this day, which is the 1st of May every year, workers' achievements are celebrated, and it has become the norm in some countries where the day is used to give some good news to workers. This is one of the public holidays that the South Africa government gives importance to.
6. Youth Day
This holiday, which was previously referred to as Soweto Day, is celebrated on the 16th day of June every year. It is a day of historical significance in South Africa as it commemorates the 1976 action by 30,000 students from Soweto. On that particular day, the students protested in the streets for a couple of weeks. The protests saw the death of over 700 people, most of them were young.
7. National Women’s Day
South Africa is a country that values its women. However, looking back at events that culminated to making 9th August a national holiday, you realize that South Africa owes their women this holiday. On the same day in 1956, over 20,000 women marched to the then prime minister's office an left a petition with over 100,000 signatures. The request was aimed at forcing the then apartheid government to remove the “pass” which was issued to blacks in the country. The pass was what allowed the black people to access the so-called ‘white areas'.
8. Heritage Day
South Africa is a country full of people with heritage. And to let people honor their culture, the 24th day of September was set aside as the National Heritage day. The citizens remember the cultural heritage of the different cultural communities that make up the southern African population.
READ ALSO: Why do we celebrate Heritage Day and what is its history?
9. Day of Reconciliation
Although the day was initially being used to commemorate the victory of the Voortrekker over the plus in 1838, it would be changed and be called the Day of Reconciliation. This holiday which is usually celebrated on the 16th day of December every year is of significance to the south African people. This year, the holiday falls on a Sunday, meaning the next Monday will be considered a national holiday
10. Christmas Day
Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on this day. This holiday which falls on the 25th of December will see quite a number of people around the world celebrate it as a national holiday. The holiday falls on a Tuesday in 2018.
11. Day Of Goodwill
The Day of Goodwill, popularly known as boxing day, is celebrated every year a day after the Christmas celebrations. If the day falls on a weekend, it is pushed to the following Monday. If Christmas is on Saturday, meaning the Day of Goodwill will be on Sunday, then it will be pushed to the next Monday.
READ ALSO: Eid Al Adha meaning: When and how do Muslims celebrate it?
Having given you the list of public holidays in South Africa, it is up to you to now plan your calendar of events for the remaining holidays.
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Source: Briefly News