Celebrating Heritage Day24th September 2022
Yearly on the 24th of September, people across the nation get together to drink, eat, sleep and be merry. It is the day we celebrate everything that makes us all uniquely South African.
Heritage Day was declared a public holiday in 1996 and since then the 24th of September became a day celebrating our heritage and traditions as South Africans.
Wearing traditional outfits, eating traditional foods, learning about different cultures and spending time with friends and family.
History of Heritage Day
Heritage Day, originally known as Shaka Day, named in honour of the legendary Zulu king, Shaka Zulu. Shaka Zulu played an important role uniting different Zulu clans into one cohesive Zulu nation in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
In 1995 the New South African Parliament omitted Shaka Day from the proposed Public Holidays Bill. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), objected and a compromise was reached.
As a result, they included it in the Bill in 1996 but changed it to Heritage Day. It is a day where all South African cultures comes together to celebrate their diverse cultural heritage.
In an address by the late former State President Nelson Mandela on marking Heritage Day, he said:
“When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”
National Braai Day
South Africans all have one thing in common, they know how to light a fire and cook a meal. National Braai Day was created by Jan Scannell from Stellenbosch, known as ‘Jan Braai’.
In 2005 Jan quit his job in finance to focus on the National Braai Day Initiative. National Braai Day is to unite South Africans around their fires as well as celebrate and share their unique culture and heritage.
South Africans love to braai, even Archbishop Desmond Tutu became a patron of South Africa’s Braai Day in 2007. In 2008, the initiative received the endorsement of South Africa’s National Heritage Council.
Braai Day Essentials
- Besides a Weber or gas braai you can just about use anything to make a fire in and put a grill on top.
- Start your fire by using charcoal or wood, if you prefer a more smoky flavour.
- A braai apron especially for the braai master.
- It’s essential that you have the right tongs, ensure your braai tool set is complete.
- Get The Democratic Republic of Braai by Jan Braai recipe book, else just wing it or create your own unique recipes.
- Select your meat, vegetables, salads, bread, pap and sous (sauce), and condiments.
- Finally have your Braai & Grill Seasoning nearby to add some flavour to your selection of meat and vegetables.
To sum it up, whatever you decide to do on Heritage Day, remember to take some time to celebrate, or at least acknowledge your heritage.