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Public Holidays in South Africa

South Africa has 12 public holidays. Besides Christimas, New Year, Easter and the 1st of May, they differ from European holidays. Pentacost is not being celebrated in South Africa. The Jewish and Asian religious communities have days of celebration which are not public.

Should one of the offical holidays fall on a Sunday, the following Monday is a holiday.

South Africans make use of their holidays by celebrating "Long Weekends"by going to the countryside for one or two nights. Then the traffic situation is accordingly. And hotels, guest houses and other accommodation venues are fully booked.

1. January New Year's Day
21. March Human Rights Day
The South Africans honour on this day their still young constitution.
March or April Good Friday and Easter Monday Friday before and Monday after Easter Sunday
27. April Freedom Day
Celebration of the first democratic elections in 1994
1. May Labour Day
International Workers' Day
16. June Youth Day
Anniversary of the Soweto Uprising in 1976 against Afrikaans as a school subject, where many youngsters were killed

Coon Carnival: The 'Cape Minstrels Carnival' - also called 'Coons' is celebrated by the Cape Coloureds and Malays in the first half of January in the centre of Cape Town. The colourful Carnival parades culminate in the 'Grand Finale' on the 2nd Sunday in January in the Green Point Stadium. Information Tel: (0)21) 4002509.

9. August Women's Day
Anniversary of the women's demonstration against the pass laws in 1956
24. September Heritage Day
A day to honour the historical heritage, cultural diversity and natural beauty of South Africa
16. December Reconciliation Day
Originally the anniversary of the historical battle at the Blood River in 1838 between Boers and Zulus, during the Apartheid celebrated as 'Geloofde Dag' (Day of the Vow). In the new South Africa the day got its new name and a reconcilatory meaning in 1995.
25./26. December Christmas
Christmas Day is the 25th of December; Familiy Day is the 26th of December.


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