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Day of Reconciliation

On Day of Reconciliation, let's come together and embrace our differences with love and understanding.
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December 16
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South Africa
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Get ready to celebrate the Day of Reconciliation on December 16 – a day that holds great significance in South Africa's history and culture. This public holiday was established after the end of apartheid in 1994, as a way to promote unity and forgiveness among all races and cultures in the country. It is a time for reflection, healing, and coming together as one nation. On this day, various events and activities are held across the country to commemorate the struggles and triumphs of the past, and to look towards a future of peace and harmony. Let's embrace this day with open hearts and minds, and celebrate our diversity as a beautiful part of our shared identity.

History of Day of Reconciliation

Day of Reconciliation Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1838</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Battle of Blood River</div><div class='timeline-text'>On December 16, Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius defeated the Zulu Kingdom in what is known as the Battle of Blood River.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1952</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Day of the Vow Celebrated</div><div class='timeline-text'>December 16 is recognized as Day of the Vow, a holiday observed by Afrikaners to commemorate the Voortrekker victory over the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1961</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>ANC's Armed Resistance</div><div class='timeline-text'>The African National Congress initiates its armed resistance against apartheid with a series of bombings on December 16, marking the start of their military wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1994</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Establishment of Holiday</div><div class='timeline-text'>In post-apartheid South Africa, December 16 is declared as the Day of Reconciliation by President Nelson Mandela, aiming to foster national unity and healing.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1996</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Official Reconciliation Day</div><div class='timeline-text'>South Africa observes the first official Day of Reconciliation, marking a step towards tackling racial issues and bridging cultural differences.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Day of Reconciliation

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a cultural festival</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Check your local community for any cultural festivals or events happening on the Day of Reconciliation. This is a great way to learn about and celebrate the diversity of your community.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Have a reconciliation-themed movie night</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Choose movies that promote messages of unity and reconciliation, such as "Invictus" or "Remember the Titans." Watch them with friends or family and discuss their themes afterwards.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Participate in a volunteer project</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Spend the day giving back to your community by participating in a volunteer project. This can be anything from helping at a soup kitchen to cleaning up a local park, all in the spirit of reconciliation and service.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a potluck with diverse dishes</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Invite friends and family over for a potluck, but with a twist - ask everyone to bring a dish from a different culture or background. This is a fun and delicious way to celebrate diversity and reconciliation.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Attend a reconciliation workshop or seminar</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Look for workshops or seminars in your area that focus on reconciliation and understanding different perspectives. This can be a great opportunity to learn and engage in meaningful discussions about reconciliation.</p></div></div>

Why Day of Reconciliation is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It promotes unity and understanding</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The Day of Reconciliation is a day when people from different backgrounds and cultures can come together, put aside their differences, and work towards building a stronger, more united nation. It emphasizes the importance of empathy and creating a sense of community.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It acknowledges the country's history</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The Day of Reconciliation was established as a public holiday in South Africa in recognition of the racial divisions and inequalities that existed during apartheid. It serves as a reminder of the past and how far the country has come in terms of reconciliation and forgiveness.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It brings attention to social issues</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>On this day, discussions about important social issues such as race relations, inequality, and human rights often take place. It provides an opportunity for reflection and dialogue on how to continue moving towards a more equal and just society for all.</p></div></div>

5 Remarkable Facts About Day of Reconciliation

Day of Reconciliation FAQs

When is Day of Reconciliation?

Day of Reconciliation is celebrated on December 16 every year. In 2024, it will fall on a Monday.

Day of Reconciliation Dates



Dec 16



Dec 16



Dec 16



Dec 16



Dec 16


Federal Holidays