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Summerwood Primary School Celebrates Heritage Day in Fine Style

23 September

Summerwood Primary School learners accepted the challenge to dress up for Heritage Day. They were dressed beautifully in attire that celebrates various aspects of culture. Some of the cultural outfits are traditional to countries like Ethiopia and Ghana, the countries of birth of some of the learners.

Read more about Heritage Day in South Africa below this image.

Photo Credit: L. Nel

What is Heritage Day?

Heritage Day is a public holiday in South Africa. It is celebrated every year on September 24. Heritage Day is a day when people concentrate on the importance of South Africa’s cultural heritage.

September 24 was previously known as Shaka Day. The holiday honoured Shaka, a famous Zulu king. After apartheid came to an end in South Africa, the government introduced new public holidays. Shaka Day was not included in the list. The Inkatha Freedom Party, which has many Zulu members, asked that Shaka Day also be observed. The government then decided that there should be a public holiday on which all South Africans could celebrate their heritage.

Heritage Day was first celebrated on September 24, 1995. Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu used the term “rainbow nation” to describe South Africa’s diverse cultures, customs, traditions, histories, and languages. Heritage Day is a celebration of this variety.

The Department of Arts and Culture organizes annual meetings to celebrate Heritage Day. It chooses a theme for each year’s Heritage Day celebrations.

Heritage can be described as that which a country’s population inherits. This includes its wildlife and natural beauty, sites of scientific or historical importance, national monuments, historical buildings, artworks, literature, music, oral traditions, and museum collections.


How do we celebrate Heritage Day?

In its essence, the day embraces and celebrates the true meaning of why we call ourselves the Rainbow Nation. South Africans mark the day by wearing traditional outfits, eating traditional foods, learning about different cultures and spending time with friends and family.

Source: south-africa-what-is-heritageday-and-why-do-we-celebrate-it/

When did South Africa start celebrating Heritage Day?

24 September 1995

Heritage Day (Afrikaans: Erfenisdag; Xhosa: Usuku Lwamagugu, Usuku Lwamasiko) is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September.

Who is responsible for Heritage Day?

The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology (DACST), as the custodian of South Africa's culture at that time, was given the responsibility to plan and manage annual events for Heritage Day at a national level. The first Heritage Day commemoration took place on 24 September 1995.

Source: › celebrating-heritage

Why do we braai on Heritage Day?

That’s a Zulu word. It comes from my culture of African speaking people. Braai is a way of preparing food over an open fire and it’s something very typical of African speaking people. They started to call it Braai Day because a braai day is a nice day. It’s a day in the spring when the weather is nice. But to be honest, braai has become a pan-African tradition although it came from African speaking people. Everybody knows the word braai is an African word but all other languages also use it. A braai is very typical of African culture.

Different groups might eat different things, but usually when we have braai, that means red meat, which is preferred to other meat. Sometimes we’ll prepare some bread with that, but it’s bread made on an open fire. There’s another dish we call pap. It’s a kind of porridge. But it’s not the kind of porridge you eat for breakfast. It’s a braai porridge, which you cook in a pot put on the fire. There’s a very nice sauce we call sheba, made from tomatoes and onions, plus some other things to make it tasty. You can add various vegetables, but those vegetables are also grilled over the fire.


Professor Anton van Vollenhoven, North-West University

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