The Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday held annually on December 16th in South Africa.
In the Afrikaner culture, this day is also about remembering souls lost in the “battle of the blood river” between the Zulu tribe and Voortrekkers.
This day was once known by Afrikaners as the “Day of the Vow”. In 1961, the ANC’s military wing (MK) was formed in opposition to the apartheid government and ultimately led to the downfall of the regime.
South Africa’s first non-racial and democratic government (ANC) was founded, under the management of former president Nelson Mandela. He was tasked with promoting reconciliation and national unity. One way they decided to do so was to acknowledge the significance of December 16 in both Afrikaner and liberation struggle traditions. This date was renamed as the Day of Reconciliation. The holiday first came into effect in 1994 to mark an end to the apartheid and celebrate reconciliation and unity for the country. The first formal celebration was on December 16th 1995.
The people of South African celebrate this occasion in many different forms: remembering past events, celebrating veterans contributions, marching and other festivities.
This event is hugely important as it recognises the struggles faced but also celebrates the racial harmony which is meaningful for both ethnic groups.
At bOnline, we’re proud to champion diversity. We wish all of those who celebrate this holiday a safe and fantastic time!