It’s September and we here at All Bags believe we should celebrate heritage day by sharing interesting things about heritage day.
- September 24 each year is set aside as a day for all South Africans to celebrate their diverse cultures, beliefs and traditions.
- Before 1995, when the date was made a national public holiday, it was known as Shaka Day in KwaZulu-Natal, to commemorate the legendary Zulu King Shaka, who was instrumental in bringing different Zulu clans together to form the Zulu nation.
- When the Public Holidays Bill was first presented to Parliament, 24 September was not included as a public holiday. The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), well known for its large Zulu membership, objected to the omission and, in reaching a compromise, the day was dubbed ‘Heritage Day’ and made a national public holiday.
- In 2005, Heritage Day was rebranded as National Braai Day. The media campaign aimed to recognise the South African tradition of the braai as something every South African is able to relate to.
- In September 2007, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was appointed as the patron of South Africa’s Braai Day – calling it a unifying force in a divided country. At the end of 2007, the Braai4Heritage initiative was awarded an endorsement by South Africa’s National Heritage Council.