24 September is one of the country's favourite holidays - it's National Heritage Day, otherwise known as Braai Day! It's the perfect opportunity to bask in the sunshine, spend time with friends and family and explore the age old South African tradition of braaiing and enjoying life!
Did you know, that Archbishop Desmond Tutu - who was appointed the Braai Day patron in 2007 - declared it a unifying force in a divided country? Isn't it true? Isn't it the one thing that can truly bring us together? Sharing food, drinks and experiences around the braai. The day is now officially aims to unite South Africans of all demographics through a common and popular activity.
Heritage Day History
In the past, September 24 was known as Shaka Day in KwaZulu-Natal and commemorated the Zulu leader, King Shaka, who played a big part in uniting the Zulu clans into one nation. Zulu kings and warriors still gather at Shaka’s grave to honour his memory, so when the date was not originally included in the Public Holidays Bill presented to parliament, the Zulu nation protested. A compromise was reached and Heritage Day was born.
Heritage Day is a day that encourages South Africans to celebrate their diverse cultural and religious heritage, along with the traditions, beliefs, language and people that make South Africa the rainbow nation. We’re a real melting pot of a country, something that makes us unique in the global village, and we should celebrate it. So gather your closest mates, round up the family and whip up a feast around the braai, you’re country expects it of you!
Viva South Africa and happy National Heritage Day!
By Katherine Stott at 20 Sep 2013