Holidays in South Africa are very rich and an occasion to honor the rich heritage and people of the country and its diverse products. Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, and the amazing African Music Festival are just three of the events that attract increasing attendance each year.
Cape Town Minstrel Carnival
The first event of the year is the Cape Town Minstrel Masquerade Festival, or the Kaapse Klopse in Afrikaans. Traditionally it was held on January 2 but now some festivals start on the 1st and continue throughout the first week of the year. The event saw teams of actors in costumes parade through the streets of Cape Town, playing traditional music and jazz. The liberation celebration attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Cape Town International Jazz Festival
At the end of March or early April, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, one of the most spectacular music festivals in Africa, takes place. The two-day event brought a mix of local and international musicians performing on five different stages for more than 30,000 spectators.
Knysna Oyster Festival
The Knysna Oyster Festival is held in the Garden Route town of Knysna every July. The dignitaries billed the “Best 10 Days of Winter” event and a deserved tribute to the humble oyster. More than 100 events take place including murder competitions, food challenges, a Marathon in the Knysna Forest, and tours of the area. The navy sent a selection of its fleet as an additional diversion to the 65,000 festival attendees.
National Arts Festival
The National Arts Festival is held in Grahamstown and is another popular July event. As a premier art and cultural showcase, it has two shows, Main and Fringe, running a wide range of performances. Drama and theater dramas, music, street performers and the visual arts are all integral parts of the 11-day festival.
Festival Oppikoppi Bushveld
Northam, north of Johannesburg and Pretoria, was the venue for the Oppikoppi Bushveld Festival in August. Oppikoppi started to operate as a rock festival, but has grown significantly and now has a number of theaters where the Folk and jazz musicians, home DJs, and even comedians cater to all tastes. The original campsite at the foothill still exists and has been supplemented by an RV site.
Royal Reed Dance
During the first half of September, up to 10,000 Zulu girls dressed in traditional costumes and approached King Zulu’s KwaNyokeni Palace in KwaZulu-Natal Province through a four-day procession. The women spent a lot of time preparing the rosary and reeds to sing and dance as the parade reached the royal palace. The festival is a popular addition to the Durban holidays at this time of year.
Arts Alive Festival
In September, Johannesburg hosts the Arts Alive Festival, a 10-day festival dedicated to the visual and performing arts of South Africa. Theaters and other venues in theater and dance performances in the old Newtown area of the city. Viewers will also be able to see local performers that incorporate Afro like Spanish flamenco dances. International repertoire often includes Chinese puppet troupes and ballet troupes.
Due to the abundance of jacaranda trees, Pretoria is often referred to by South Africans as the City of Jacaranda. In late spring when the trees bloom, the area will have a purplish hue color. The Jacaranda festival in October celebrates a local icon with family entertainment and a special market.