South Africa has 12 public holidays. No matter how solemn their intention, they are regarded by most as shopping-extravaganza days. The city slows down dramatically from around December 16 each year until early January, with the shopping frenzy tapering off between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day when locals take a break, often heading for the coast or to family in other provinces. Most big malls are open on public holidays (see Shopping for details). Whenever a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday following it is also a public holiday.
2015 January 1 – New Year’s Day March 21 – Human Rights Day April 3 – Good Friday April 6 – Family Day April 27 – Freedom Day May 1 – Workers’ Day June 16 – Youth Day August 9 – National Women’s Day September 24 – Heritage Day December 16 – Day of Reconciliation December 25 – Christmas Day December 26 – Day of Goodwill