Public Holidays 2019

Public Holidays are usually those days that we all look forward to especially if they fall next to a weekend. Gives the public a chance to have an extended rest. Most businesses and non-essential services are closed during the public holidays, however there are many large chain stores that decide to stay open. Below is a concise list of all the public holidays for South Africa during 2019, dates and some useful information on the actual day, one would be surprised how many people have no idea about the holiday that they are celebrating.

1st January – New Year’s Day

  • From partying the night before many a new years resolution is made on this day.However this is the start of a new year and many families gather on this day to celebrate the coming of the new year.

21st March – Human Rights Day

  • Historically linked to the Sharpeville massacre and made a public holiday by the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

28th March – Family Day

  • This day is to honour the working class people in taking a day off their intense schedules to spend some quality time with their loved ones.

19th April – Good Friday

  • Observed by many Christians on the Friday before Easter Sunday and commemorating the passion that Jesus Christ had, his crucifixion and finally his death and resurrection.

20th April – Holy Saturday

  • The day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, this day celebrates the day that Jesus Christ lay in his tomb.

21th April – Easter Sunday

  • The most commemorated and celebrated day of the Christian faith, the day that Jesus Christ was resurrected.

27th April – Freedom Day

  • Celebrated in honour of the first free and fair election in the country of 1994, as well as celebrating the being of what is now a rainbow nation.

1st May – Worker’s Day

  • This day commemorates the role played by the labour movements, trade unions and communist parties against the Apartheid struggle.

2nd May – Worker’s Day Observed

8th May – Mothers Day

  • A day to honour all the Mothers of the land. Most restaurants and places have great Mothers Day specials and events so that we can spoil those special women in our life.

16th June – Youth Day

  • Commemorating the memory of the set of protests known as the Soweto uprising of 1976.

19th June – Fathers Day

  • A day honouring all the Fathers of the land. Many restaurants and places open their doors to share festivities with the special men in our lives.

18th July – Nelson Mandela Day

  • Declared by the United Nations, this day is a day celebrating former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.18th July is his official birthday.

3rd August – Election Day

  • The day chosen for the local government elections.

9th August – National Women’s Day

  • Commemorating the day in 1955, that South African women of all races staged a march on the union buildings, protesting against what was known as the pass laws.

24th September – Heritage Day

  • Exactly as the name says, this day is there to allow the people of South Africa to celebrate the colourful heritages.

16th December – Day of Reconciliation

  • In the light of reconciliation and national unity after apartheid, this day celebrates the beauty of the end of Apartheid.

24th December – Christmas Eve

  • Also known as the Vigil of Christmas, this day falls on the day before Christmas and most churches and communities celebrate this day by singing carols and families usually wrap presents and fill stockings which are opened on Christmas Day.

25th December – Christmas Day

  • Either known to many as the birthday of Jesus Christ, or the pagan festival of Yule in the northern hemispheres. Celebrated by many with Christmas feasts and opening of presents and the visiting of Father Christmas.

26th December – Christmas Day Observed

31st December – New Years Eve

  • The day when all the world, especially Cape Town comes out to play and celebrate. Almost every single restaurant, club and eaterie has something great on. There are so many things to choose to do that sometimes its better to hop New Years Eve Parties.


According to the Public Holidays Act (act No 36 of 1994) of South Africa, if the public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following shall then be the public holiday.

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