The 2023 Heritage Day brings focus to South Africa’s rich and diverse cultural heritage and its immense contribution to our social, economic, health, and scientific well-being especially for rural, township, and peri-urban communities.
Annually, September marks Heritage Month with Heritage Day celebrated on 24 September by showcasing the nation’s diverse culture and heritage.
During Heritage Month, South Africans celebrate its many diverse cultures and rich heritage, which incorporates African, Asian, and European cultures and traditions.
Heritage Day recognizes and celebrates the cultural wealth of South Africa. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa.
Various events are staged throughout the country to commemorate this day.
The theme for this year’s Heritage Month is “Celebrating our cultural diversity in a democratic South Africa” and the Heritage Day event on 24 September 2023 will be hosted by the eThekwini Metro in KwaZulu-Natal.
This year’s Heritage Month continues to encourage South Africans in all district municipalities to host cultural carnivals with music, dance, poetry, and food from different cultural groups who reside within that district.
History of Heritage Day
Heritage Day was introduced in 1995. Prior to this, 24 September was celebrated in the province of KwaZulu-Natal as Shaka Day.
The day commemorated Shaka the Zulu king on the day of his death in 1828.
After Apartheid ended, the South African Parliament didn’t include 24 September on the list of public holidays going forward. Political parties objected to the bill, and it was decided that the date would become a public holiday called Heritage Day to celebrate the inclusion and diversity of all the people in South Africa.
Heritage Day was introduced as a day on which to celebrate and reflect on the great diversity of cultures that our nation has.
It was also introduced in the spirit of reconciliation, to help unite the country after many years of unfair segregation under apartheid.