South Africa is famously known as the ‘rainbow nation,’ boasting a wide range of diverse cultures, traditions, and beliefs from throughout Africa and the world. Every 24th of September South Africa celebrates Heritage Day or as many have dubbed – Braai (BBQ) Day.

This national holiday started in Kwazulu-Natal and was formerly known as Shaka Day, for King Shaka Zulu, who helped unite the tribes in South Africa. During post-apartheid, South African parliament proposed the Public Holiday Bill which did not include Shaka Day, spurring outrage in the Inkatha Freedom Party – many of whom were Zulu. A compromise was reached and Heritage Day was born so that all South Africans could unite and celebrate, with many doing so over an open fire braai – hence the nickname for the holiday.

This Heritage Day, get involved in one of the many activities going on in Cape Town. Here are details of three events – for more go to Cape Town Magazine.

Artscape Heritage Festival – This mixed bag of dance, theatre and musical performances aims to not only pay homage to our diverse nation, but also to highlight the country’s journey to democracy and its subsequent successes and failures. Celebrate Mzansi’s rich culture at the 2015 Artscape Heritage Festival from Thursday to Sunday the 27th. Tickets available on Computicket.


Photo by The Luvvie of the Siembamba show – Artscape Heritage Day Festival.


Shimmy Beach Club’s Heritage Day Market – As a celebration of Heritage Day, one of Cape Town’s premier beach clubs, Shimmy, will hosting a delightful market day, perfect for the whole family. On Thursday, 24 September 2015, a variety of stalls will showcase some of South Africa’s finest products and, best of all, entry is free! The market day kicks off at 11am and continues until 7pm, with delicious food suitable for all palettes. Entry is FREE!


The Shimmy Beach Club Heritage Day market.


Cape Town Fringe Festival – Organised by the National Arts Festival (the same crowd responsible for the Grahamstown fiesta), this 11- day extravaganza showcases the best of the country’s creative culture with a medley of singing, dancing, theatre and arts and culture performances. Based on the Fringe festival concept originating in Edinburgh after World War Two, the fest is characterised by a collection of small performances run by independent practitioners. The event will span most of Cape Town, housed at various locations in the CBD and Langa, with each venue staging between six to eight performances per day. Book tickets through


Fringe Festival part of the Heritage Day events.