Formerly known as ‘Spear of the Nation’ which was Umkhonto we Sizwe which was the armed wing of the African National Congress 1961 (ANC), and to the Afrikaaner nation it was the Day of the Vow, which commemorated the battle of Bloodriver in 1838. By combining these two meanings for the 16th of December, South Africa has one day to celebrate and remember the importance of reconciliation.
Umkhonto we Sizwe was actually co-founded by former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, after the misunderstood protest that turned into a bloody massacre, known as the Sharpeville Massacre of 1961, the public holiday of Human Rights Day is another Day commemorating the lives lost to this peaceful turned violent protest which took 69 South African lives in total.
The Day of the Vow which was the day for the Afrikaaner nation, commemorated the battle which consisted of 470 Voortrekkers versus an estimated 15000 – 21000 Zulu people on the banks of the Ncome river. It was an epic battle which saw the Voortrekkers come out victorious despite their dwindling numbers compared to the Zulu enemy.
Day of Reconciliation is to remember the Rainbow Nation, to remember forgiveness and most of all acceptance and love of ones neighbour despite historical war or tribulations. South Africa has come a far way in fostering peace between her people and all the diverse cultures that she carries but peace has largely been practiced and continues to be reinstilled in the people of the nation.
New Year's Day, also simply called New Year, is observed on 1 January, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar.
Human Rights Day in South Africa is historically linked with 21 March 1960, and the events of Sharpeville. On that day 69 people died and 180 were wounded
Many Christians around the world observe Good Friday on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s Passion, crucifixion, and death, which is told in the Christian Bible.
Family Day was first celebrated as Easter Monday in 1910. Family Day was renamed as such in 1994 in order to include all religions, as the holiday was originally more Christian. It is celebrated annually on the Monday following Easter.
Freedom Day is a public holiday in South Africa celebrated on 27 April. It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994.
Labour Day, or International Workers Day, is an International public holiday in many countries, most often celebrated on 1 May.
Youth Day commemorates the Soweto Uprising, which took place on 16 June 1976, where thousands of students were ambushed by the apartheid regime.
National Women's Day is a South African public holiday celebrated annually on 9 August. The day commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Heritage Day is a South African public holiday celebrated on 24 September. On this day, South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their culture and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions
The Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday in South Africa held annually on 16 December. The holiday came into effect in 1995 after the end of apartheid, with the intention of fostering reconciliation and national unity for the country.
Christmas Day (or Feast of the Nativity) is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25[a] as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.
Day of Goodwill is observed on the day after Christmas, 26 December. It is also known as Boxing Day. It is said that this public holiday is one of the many changes that were implemented after the South African government did away with apartheid in 1994.
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