This day in 1994 saw the first free and fair election of South Africa. The struggle of the apartheid regime which saw many people shed blood in the name of freedom and fairness was over. It was the day that heralded the long awaited hopeful horizon where this diverse country with its many colours and creeds, cultures and belief systems could work together in building a new South Africa.
The elections which are known to actually be the first multiracial elections of South Africa saw the victory of the votes going to the African National Congress (ANC) in alliance with the communist party as well as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). The fight to have the free and fair,non racially dominated election was the long walk to freedom that former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela took, it was what he fought for, what he was jailed for, and what he stood for in everything he was until his death on 5th December 2013.
Freedom Day stands for the freedom of the people. It incorporates the freedom of being in everything you are as long as it does not crush the boundaries of living, the livelihood and being of another human. This public holiday may as well be the most important reminder on the calendar to the South African people that the rainbow nation was a long struggle to achieve and it is up to the South African people to keep it alive.
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.
Get the latest South African travel destination tips, Join our newsletter.