Heritage day is one of the biggest holidays in South Africa

Vacationers jaunting off to Cape Town this September will find themselves in the midst of a massive celebration, as the month hosts one of the most important South Africa holidays – Heritage Day.

One of many public holidays to be created in the southern nation over the past several years, Heritage Day occurs on September 24 and is a chance for people of all races, cultures and creeds living within South Africa to celebrate their heritage and the diversity that abounds in the country.

The day bears particular import to the native Zulu tribes of Africa, as the KwaZulu-Natal originally celebrated Shaka Day on the 24th in commemoration of the nation’s great king Shaka Zulu. When the Public Holidays Bill passed several years ago, the South African parliament had initially neglected the celebration because they felt it was too exclusive to the Zulu peoples. Yet with a little compromise, the new holiday was born.

Cultural groups stage numerous celebrations throughout the country ranging from traditional dances and public ceremonies to informational lectures and parades. Yet while there are larger festivities, many families and local celebrate the day by holding small barbecues called Braais with friends, family and neighbors.