Holidays in South Africa

Christmas is celebrated on December 25 in South Africa, just as it is in the United States, however, it falls during the summer in South Africa so there is tons of sun and flowers in bloom which provides a very different feel than snow and cold. Most of the windows are covered in drapes with cotton wool and tinsel but many people are outside enjoying the warm weather. It is a public holiday and schools are closed which allows families to celebrate together by camping, carol singing, attending church, exchanging gifts, and perhaps most importantly, eating a meal together. This meal may consist of turkey, duck, roast beef or a suckling pig and is often paired with yellow rice and raisins, vegetables, and Christmas pudding for dessert. South Africans also believe in Santa and may refer to him as “Vader Kersfees.” December 26 is also a public holiday observed in South Africa and is known as “Boxing Day” which originated in Britain. On this day, boxes of food or clothing are given to the poor, or people donate money in boxes at Churches. This day is often spent with family and friends, and is often used as a day to celebrate Christmas with them if you did not see them the day before.