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Youth Day

16 June: Youth Day

Public holidays in South Africa.
South Africa has 12 public holidays

History of Youth Day

Youth Day which is an official public holiday in South Africa is a day of remembrance which The Times Newspaper called the worst outbreak of racial violence seen in South Africa since the Sharpeville massacre which took place 16 years prior to the Soweto Uprising of 1976. The protest was against the teaching of Afrikaans as a compulsory subject in the schools.

The instillation of Afrikaans as one of the languages to be taught in schools did not sit well with the black South Africans and preferred English as a compulsory subject at any odds. The decree in 1974 was intended to forcibly remove the fact that black South Africans refused Afrikaans in the education system. A quote from the Deputy Minister of Bantu education at the time to outline the ideology at the time is: “A Black man may be trained to work on a farm or in a factory. He may work for an employer who is either English-speaking or Afrikaans-speaking and the man who has to give him instructions may be either English-speaking or Afrikaans-speaking. Why should we now start quarrelling about the medium of instruction among the Black people as well? … No, I have not consulted them and I am not going to consult them. I have consulted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa …”

The Soweto uprising which saw over 20 000 students protesting against Afrikaans in the schools, which became violent and the estimated deaths are numbered at 176, but have also been recorded to range around 700.

2020 Public Holidays in South Africa

1 January: New Year’s Day

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.

21 March: Human Rights Day

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

10 April: Good Friday

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.

13 April: Family Day

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.

27 April: Freedom Day

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.

1 May: Workers Day

Labour Day, or International Workers Day, is an International public holiday in many countries, most often celebrated on 1 May.

16 June: Youth Day

Youth Day commemorates the Soweto Uprising, which took place on 16 June 1976, where thousands of students were ambushed by the apartheid regime.

9 August: National Women’s Day

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

24 September: Heritage Day

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

16 December: Day of Reconciliation

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.

25 December: Christmas Day

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.

26 December: Day of Goodwill

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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