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6 Great Ways to Celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa

Date : 18 September 2019

Heritage Day is far more than just a public holiday. It’s a day where all South Africans can celebrate their unique cultures as well as their underlying unity. As diverse as our cultures and backgrounds may be, Heritage Day is all about bringing the entire nation together. If you don’t have any plans yet, here are six great ways to celebrate this national day.

1. Immerse yourself in another culture

What better time to experience another culture than on Heritage Day? From the Cape Malay community in the colourful Bo-Kaap district to the Shakaland Zulu Cultural Village in Eshowe, there are a variety of cultural spots to visit across the country. Take a journey into these communities’ everyday lives, listen to their stories and sample their cuisines. This is a fantastic way to discover the rich culture and heritage of our fellow South Africans.

2. Learn a phrase from a new language

South Africa has 11 official languages, why not learn a new phrase from at least one of them? Start with something simple like how to greet others or how to ask common questions such as “How are you” or “How can I help you”. Making an effort to speak in another person’s mother tongue shows a level of respect and will help bridge the gap between us. Here are some apps you can use to learn South African languages.

3. Support a local business or artisan

If you’re planning to do a bit of shopping on Heritage Day, then be sure to include a local business on your list of stops. When you support a small business, you’re supporting a dream and helping to contribute to a better society and economy. Another great idea is to support the work of local artisans, artists, and craftsmen making traditional crafts such as woven baskets, clay pots, beaded jewellery, garments and so on.

4. Get behind uBuntu

South Africans are known for their warm and generous spirit. In fact, a recent report found that at least nine in 10 South Africans did something charitable last year. Heritage Day is a great time to get behind this practice of uBuntu. This could translate into spending time with those in need, offering up your skills where possible or making a donation of money, clothes, toys or other items you no longer use. There are causes all across the country in need of support. Here are just some of the charities you may consider supporting.

5. Have a Proudly SA potluck dinner

We love the idea of inviting friends over for a ‘Proudly South African’ themed potluck dinner. Each guest (or couple) should bring a different traditional dish for everyone to share. This is a unique and inexpensive way to sample other cultures’ cuisines – and you might just find your new favourite! This idea can also be adapted for a Bring and Braai. Provide the meat and ask your guests to bring along a snack, side or dessert from a local culture of their choice.

6. Visit one of our top attractions

Make the most of the public holiday by heading outdoors to explore and experience our natural heritage. Take a day trip to one of our national parks or nature reserves and if the weather is really pleasant, plan a picnic at one of our scenic beaches or botanical gardens. Here’s a list of some of the most popular attractions across South Africa. As a nation, we are truly blessed to have inherited an abundance of natural beauty, so head on out and enjoy!


How will you be celebrating Heritage Day this year? Please share your plans with us over on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.