Basics – Public Holidays and National Celebrations in South Africa

12 Jan 2018

December 25 – Christmas Day

December 26 – Day of Goodwill


January/February - Chinese New Year. This is a particularly popular holiday in Johannesburg where there is a very well-established Chinese community. The lively traditional celebrations, complete with firecrackers and dancing dragons take place on consecutive Saturdays in the city's two Chinatowns based on Commissioner Street and on Derrick Avenue in Cyrildene.

May 25 - Africa Day. Commemorates the day in 1963 when leaders of thirty-two independent African states met to form the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). This is a public holiday in many African countries (but not in South Africa).

July 18 - Mandela Day. The late Nelson Mandela's birthday is celebrated internationally as Mandela Day. On this day people across the globe are encouraged to continue Madiba's struggle for universal dignity and social justice, by donating 67 minutes of their time (representative of the 67 years Mandela spent serving the country) to charitable and community activities. To find out how to get involved in Mandela Day go to


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