heritage day

Celebrating Heritage Day

The Beauty of Culture

19 / 09 / 2021
Heritage Day South Africa
Rethabile Selepe
Creative Editor

National Heritage Day is coming up soon, giving us the perfect opportunity to celebrate our unique rainbow nation.

Features belonging to the culture of a particular society, such as traditions, languages or buildings that were created in the past and still have historical importance.

– Heritage as defined by the Cambridge Dictionary

Heritage is celebrated and observed in many different ways around the world, whether as a national holiday or a religious event, with festivals and rituals, or with fireworks and parades. In South Africa of course, we celebrate with a braai – or Shisanyama. For us, it’s a social event, where we spend the day outdoors, gathered around a fire with friends and family. We’ve been celebrating our heritage this way since 1996 and will no doubt continue to celebrate this way well into the future.

Of course, 24 September wasn’t always known as Heritage Day. Before 1996, the day was celebrated in KZN as Shaka Day, in honour of the Zulu King who was presumed to have died on September 24th 1828. As the tides of politics shifted in South Africa, it was included in the list of public holidays and the name was changed to represent, recognise and celebrate the contributions all South Africans have made in building a beautiful rainbow nation filled with cultural wealth.

On this day, South Africans are encouraged to show off their traditions, their beliefs, their foods, their attires and their languages. It is on this day that one can see how cultural and diverse this nation really is. Coronavirus may be plunging our daily lives, but an event like Heritage Day can still remind us to see the beauty all around us, and to honour our uniqueness as a nation.

On September 24th, go out and celebrate your heritage!

Be bold, be loud and be proud. Go out and see other people’s heritage, and find ways to celebrate with and learn from each other.

Don’t forget to share on your social media platforms what makes you unique, what makes you South African and what Heritage Day means to you. Normalise how you celebrate your heritage, it’s important.

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