Every year, the 24th of September marks a day of celebration for South Africans from all walks of life. It’s a day where the people of The Rainbow Nation come together in unity to commemorate their differences – different cultures, races, languages, and many other roots that form the foundation of a country so rich in diversity, and loved because of it.
As a proudly South African-born company, the team at SweepSouth recognises the importance of bringing such a special and honourable day to light. Heritage Day is more than just a public holiday, it’s an opportunity to come together as a country and share in the uniqueness and beauty of our differences, for it is difference from which learning takes place, and learning from which a strong bond is formed. Join us in learning about this momentous day as we take a short trip down memory lane and look at different ways of celebrating Heritage Day 2023.
What Is Heritage Day?
Heritage Day is a public holiday held in South Africa every year on September 24. Before being termed ‘Heritage Day’, it was once known as ‘Shaka Day’. The reason for its original name was a celebration for the Zulu King of Shaka. His ability to unite the Zulu clan and form the Zulu nation was and is a worthy cause for remembrance. The official request for the date to become a public holiday took place in 1995, and after receiving an initial rejection, it was decided that an official public holiday would be formed, known as Heritage Day.
Why Do We Celebrate Heritage Day?
Apart from the historical reasons mentioned above, Heritage Day is an opportunity for South Africans to celebrate the cultural wealth that fills our nation. Every culture that lives within the borders of The Rainbow Nation is encouraged to observe and recognise the diversity of their beliefs and traditions.
The remarkable irony that presents itself is that these differences are celebrated through the coming together of various people from different backgrounds. From dressing up in traditional cultural attire to getting involved in different activities, let’s look at the different ways Heritage Day is celebrated.
Also Known As ‘National Braai Day’
One of the most popular ways to celebrate Heritage Day is by lighting up some coals and gathering friends and family for everyone’s favourite activity – a proper South African braai! Due to the nation’s love for braaing on every other day, but especially on Heritage Day, September 24 was also given the name ‘National Braai Day’.
Another reason why the phrase was coined is because it brings together South Africans from many different cultures, for an activity that is loved and celebrated by all. In 2005, a man named Jan Scannell, also known as “Jan Braai,” was the one to bring attention to this term by proposing that the holiday be renamed National Braai Day.
Popular Braai Spots For Heritage Day
If you and your crew are looking to head out to a great braai spot for Heritage Day and gather with some other South Africans in celebration, here are some of the most popular places to look out for:
- Braai spots in the Cape:
- Braai spots in Gauteng:
- Braai spots in Durban:
Don’t forget to book an unmatched cleaning service with SweepSouth to have your braai/entertainment area cleaned before your friends arrive for the the big day.
Other Ways To Celebrate Heritage Day
Although igniting a fire and hearing the sizzle of the grill, or preparing delectable Heritage Day cuisines, are great ways to celebrate this notable day, there are other ways to surround yourself with the heritage spirit. Here are some of our favourite ways to celebrate Heritage Day:
- Planting an indigenous tree – embracing Mother Nature and reviving the land that gives us life is a worthy cause that’s worth getting involved in.
- Donating to a wildlife sanctuary – South Africa is renowned for its breathtaking wildlife, and wouldn’t be the same without it. Join the fight against poaching and other illegal activities by giving back to the beautiful animals of our country.
- Visit one of South Africa’s remarkable World Heritage Sites – with so many to choose from, there’s no reason not to make a short trip to one of the extraordinary Heritage Sites that our country has to offer.
- Spend time with the less fortunate – on a day where it’s a tradition to gather with loved ones, many people, unfortunately, don’t have the opportunity to do that. Why not lend just a little bit of your time to them? You never know whose day you could be making.
Proudly South African Slang
There is just no place like home! Throughout the years, our differences and cultures have come together, creating a few magical South African proverbs we have all come to love and use in our everyday lives. Here are a few of our favourite proverbs, from “lekker” to “yebo” that make us uniquely South African:
- Ja, Nee
(n) To confirm or agree on something.
Example: Ja, nee. When it comes to washing the dishes a spouse magically disappears.
- Just Now
(n) An action will happen soon, but now right now. Maybe sometime in the future, but not this second.
Example: I promise I will take care of laundry on my bed and tackle the ironing just now.
(n) A festive time or party.
Example: The more I book SweepSouth, the more time I have to jol!
(n) In Afrikaans the word means, ‘delicious’ or ‘tasty’, but it’s also used to describe ‘awesome’, ‘great’ and ‘nice’.
Example: It’s lekker not worrying about chores after making a recurring SweepSouth booking.
- Now Now
(n) Soon, but not this second. Likely to happen before “just now”.
Example: Why leave your chores for NOW NOW if SweepSouth can take care of it NOW?
(n) Often used as a double positive, Yebo means yes or yeah!
Example: Yebo, yes! Our outdoor service will tackle your braai and patio area.
(n) A word used as a conversation filler and to respond when asking, “really?” or “is that so?”
Example: Isit? You still doing your own chores?
(n) To be in agreement with someone or something.
Example: Ja, I really love booking recurring to secure my favourite SweepStar and save on the service fees.
(n) To react in disbelief or expressing your surprise.
Example: Hayibo! You haven’t booked a trusted & affordable SweepSouth service yet?
(n) Expressing regret, disapproval or shock.
Example: Eish! Are laundry and dishes piling up? Book a SweepSouth home or outdoor service today. Click below:
Whether you refer to it as Heritage Day or National Braai Day, the momentous day of September 24 is worth honouring and acknowledging each and every year. With a history so rich in change and improvement, and a people overflowing with cultural diversity, let’s all come together, share our inspiring stories, and stand proud as a nation bonded together by what makes us different.