Heritage Day in South Africa

The whole long weekend, my timeline got brightly flooded with traditional attires from different cultures. Heritage day is one of the most important holidays in South Africa. We immerse ourselves in our culture as we celebrate the cultural wealth of our diverse nation. We mark this colorful day by wearing traditional outfits, eat traditional foods, learn about different cultures, and spending time with friends and family.

Sometimes it is impossible to know where you are headed without reflecting on where you came from. Understanding your heritage, your roots, and your ancestry is an important part of carving out your future.


We pride ourselves on dignity as we remember how we have come as a nation. Gone are those days where we neglect where we come from. We are so glad that the system has changed. Children are taught the home language to learn in schools, traditional weddings have become our reality, and the food we eat is mainly culturally aligned. Talk about the transitioning from not knowing where we come from to fully embracing who we are.

In the following post, I will show you different traditional outfits and foods and what they represent, languages, animals, and heritage sites.

Traditional dresses

The well-renowned Makhadzi took the cup this season when she did a photoshoot for all the different cultures. We all gave her a standing ovation when she posted on her social pages. Our traditional attires are mainly colorful, and each tribe has its own identified colors. You can see below how Makhadzi gracefully wore them.

You may also look at traditional dresses for brides. Traditional Wedding Dresses in South Africa.
Ugandan traditional wear https://behindclosedscreens.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/traditional-wear-culture-and-fashion-week/

Traditional foods

We love different foods depending on the type of culture we come from. The dishes are delicious and healthy. However, we have one meal which we all seem to make the same way, known as ‘Seven colors’. Make sure you get to taste this wonderful dish when you come to South Africa. Do not make that mistake. It is a dish prepared mainly on special occasions like Christmas, Easter weekend, etc. It’s called seven colors because the plate has more than seven colors of the salads on it. An interesting dish.

You may also check Zambian traditional foods here https://doseofwonani.com/2021/06/23/5-traditional-foods-you-must-try-in-zambia/

Heritage sites

Many heritage sites are just as beautiful as our nation. We pride ourselves on the beauty of the history behind each site. Some sites carry a whole lot of our origin and where we are going as a nation. We have places like Robben Island that symbolize the freedom of humanity over the enormous suffering and distress we went through as a nation. It is a motivation for healing.


Where in the world can you find the big five animals in one park? Only in the rainbow nation. The big five parks have been part of our heritage sites for tourists for too long now. They have become our pride such that most people even though we lived with them in our houses. Just to set the record straight! We do have national parks where they are kept. We only visit them if we want to see them. In many cases, we even pay a certain fee for entrance. We DO NOT live with them in our houses. Hahaha.


The way our languages intertwine it’s so amazing. We have 12 official languages, sign language included. We have two main groups. We have the ngunis, which include Xhosas, Zulus, Swatis, and Ndebeles. Then the other group, includes Pedis, Sothos, and Tswanas. Then we have English and Afrikaans. In which English is the universal language for all the tribes.

Heritage day in South Africa. How to greet in South African languages :

  1. Xhosa – Molweni
  2. Swati – Sawubona
  3. Zulu – Sanibonani
  4. Ndebele – Lotjhani
  5. Venda – Ndaa/Aa
  6. Afrikaans – Hallo
  7. Sepedi – Thobela
  8. Setswana – Dumelang
  9. Sesotho – Lumelang
  10. Tsonga – Avuxeni

May also check: Cultural Influence on Language in South Africa
Home Language rant

Indigenous games

What is heritage day without any indigenous games? They have become a vast part of our celebration such that we use them to unite and bring people together. They have different connotations and meanings. I have personally learned a lot through indigenous games. They also taught me about trust, communication, and the importance of teamwork.

Heritage Day in South Africa

Heritage Day is one of the most important holidays in South Africa. Both the nation as a whole and its people should honor and celebrate the beauty of our country. In its essence, the day embraces the authentic meaning of why we call ourselves the RAINBOW NATION.

I would like to know how you celebrate your heritage in your countries. How much importance should we still celebrate Heritage Day?

From my heart to yours


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