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When is Reconciliation Day in 2023?

Reconciliation Day in 2023 is on the Saturday, 16th of Dec (12/16/2023).

Reconciliation Day is on the 350th day of 2023. There are 15 days left in the year.

Reconciliation Day Facts

  • Date: Dec 16, 2023
  • National
  • Also Called:
  • Celebrations: Celebrations; cultural performances, parades, political speeches, tours, cooking
Reconciliation Day iImage Credit: Wikipedia

All good and evil come to an end. Horrid atrocities come to an end too, but memories still live with us. However, it gives us peace of mind to forget and reconcile with those who wronged us. Reconciliation Day was established in 1994, as a way for the South Africans to heal and bring harmony to their country after going through the apartheid and racial segregation suffering. It is, therefore, a day to celebrate the fall of the apartheid regime and a reminder to move away from divisive politics. South Africa observes Reconciliation Day as a public day on 16th December every year.

History of Reconciliation Day

The history of Reconciliation Day can be traced to the suffering of the black people of South Africa under the auspices of colonialism.

The date 16th December has great significance to South Africans because of two historical events.

On 16th December 1863, the Voortrekkers took a vow before God that they would build a church if they were granted victory in the Battle of Blood River against the Zulus. This day was initially observed as the Day of the Vow.

The second historical event signifies the formation of the African National Congress’s (ANC) military wing. The group was popularly known as Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) translated to the spear of the nation. The group aimed at fighting apartheid through acts of sabotage and violent resistance. On 16th December 1961, the first act of sabotage and bomb blasts against government buildings was witnessed. Unfortunately, the group’s effectiveness was short lived due to organization challenges and the arrest of its key leaders.

The date 16th December was therefore selected as the Reconciliation Day because of its significance to the Afrikaner and liberation struggles.

The first Day of Reconciliation was observed on 16th December 1995, with the intent of fostering reconciliation, nation-building and promoting national unity among its people. It was held a year after Nelson Mandela was released from prison. It was also on this day that the Truth and Reconciliation group met for the very first time. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was in attendance, and he described the holiday as serving the need to heal the Apartheid wounds.

How to Celebrate Reconciliation Day

In most cases, the day is marked with political speeches, parades, cultural performances and honoring freedom fighters. Although these events vary from one year to the other, you can find out the events that will be going on in your area.

Take this day as an opportunity to learn about Reconciliation Day history first hand. You can tour the Johannesburg Apartheid museum and have a look at the apartheid artifacts throughout the 20th century. You can also visit the Battle of Blood River Monument located in KwaZulu-Natal. The monument has 64 bronze ox-wagons, and an extra one carved out of granite. There is also another monument dedicated to the memory of Zulu warriors who lost their lives in the battle. Indeed, visiting these places is the ultimate way to understand the story behind Reconciliation Day.

Reconciliation Day is a time to have a taste of the Afrikaner cuisine. The Afrikaans food is heavy on red meat which is often grilled or roasted. The cuisine also consists of plenty of potatoes, rice, and vegetables flavored with butter and sugar. Dried meat such as biltong (jerky) and droewors (dried sausage) are a typical dish that dates back to the old days.

All in one pot meals are very common to Afrikaners as well as a type of corn porridge with beans commonly known as ‘mieliepap.’ Generally, the South African cuisines are tied to the agriculture of the local tribes.

Being a public day and therefore a day off from work, it is a good excuse to get into a festive mood and prepare for other holidays such as Christmas, the Day of Goodwill and New Year. As a day off, most people spend the time partying with friends and attending family gatherings.,/p.

Reconciliation Day Observances

  • Fri
  • Dec 16, 2016
  • Sat
  • Dec 16, 2017

List of National and Regional Public Holidays of South Africa in 2023

SundaySunJan 01, 2023Jan 01New Year's Day
MondayMonJan 02, 2023Jan 02New Year's Day Holiday
TuesdayTueMar 21, 2023Mar 21Human Rights Day
FridayFriApr 07, 2023Apr 07Good Friday
SundaySunApr 09, 2023Apr 09Easter
MondayMonApr 10, 2023Apr 10Family Day
ThursdayThuApr 27, 2023Apr 27Freedom Day
MondayMonMay 01, 2023May 01Workers Day
ThursdayThuMay 25, 2023May 25Africa Day
FridayFriJun 16, 2023Jun 16Youth Day
TuesdayTueJul 18, 2023Jul 18Nelson Mandela's Birthday
WednesdayWedAug 09, 2023Aug 09National Women's Day
SundaySunSep 24, 2023Sep 24Heritage Day
MondayMonSep 25, 2023Sep 25Heritage Day Holiday
SaturdaySatDec 16, 2023Dec 16Day of Reconciliation
MondayMonDec 25, 2023Dec 25Christmas Day
TuesdayTueDec 26, 2023Dec 26Day of Goodwill

List of Popular Celebration Days of United States in 2023

ThursdayThuJan 12, 2023Jan 12National Pharmacists Day
ThursdayThuJan 19, 2023Jan 19National Popcorn Day
WednesdayWedFeb 01, 2023Feb 01National Signing Day
ThursdayThuFeb 02, 2023Feb 02Groundhog Day
FridayFriFeb 03, 2023Feb 03National Wear Red Day
ThursdayThuFeb 09, 2023Feb 09National Pizza Day
MondayMonFeb 13, 2023Feb 13Galentine's Day
TuesdayTueFeb 14, 2023Feb 14Valentine's Day
WednesdayWedFeb 15, 2023Feb 15National Bagel Day
SaturdaySatFeb 18, 2023Feb 18National Drink Wine Day
TuesdayTueFeb 21, 2023Feb 21National Pancake Day
WednesdayWedFeb 22, 2023Feb 22National Margarita Day
FridayFriMar 03, 2023Mar 03National Employee Appreciation Day
TuesdayTueMar 07, 2023Mar 07National Cereal Day
SundaySunMar 12, 2023Mar 12Daylight savings
MondayMonMar 13, 2023Mar 13National Napping Day
TuesdayTueMar 14, 2023Mar 14National Walkout Day
TuesdayTueMar 14, 2023Mar 14National Pi Day
MondayMonMar 20, 2023Mar 20National Proposal Day
ThursdayThuMar 23, 2023Mar 23National Puppy Day
ThursdayThuMar 30, 2023Mar 30National Doctor Day
WednesdayWedApr 05, 2023Apr 05National Walking Day
ThursdayThuApr 06, 2023Apr 06National Burrito Day
FridayFriApr 07, 2023Apr 07National Beer Day
TuesdayTueApr 11, 2023Apr 11National Pet Day
WednesdayWedApr 12, 2023Apr 12National Grilled Cheese Day
ThursdayThuMay 04, 2023May 04National Day Of Prayer
SundaySunMay 14, 2023May 14Mother's Day
ThursdayThuMay 25, 2023May 25National Towel Day
ThursdayThuMay 25, 2023May 25National Wine Day
FridayFriJun 02, 2023Jun 02National Donut Day
ThursdayThuJun 08, 2023Jun 08National Best Friends Day
SundaySunJun 18, 2023Jun 18Father's Day
WednesdayWedJun 21, 2023Jun 21National Selfie Day
ThursdayThuJun 22, 2023Jun 22National Kissing Day
TuesdayTueJul 11, 2023Jul 11Amazon Prime Day
ThursdayThuJul 13, 2023Jul 13National French Fry Day
FridayFriJul 14, 2023Jul 14National Nude Day
SundaySunJul 16, 2023Jul 16National Ice Cream Day
WednesdayWedJul 19, 2023Jul 19National Hot Dog Day
MondayMonJul 24, 2023Jul 24National Tequila Day
SaturdaySatJul 29, 2023Jul 29National Chicken Wing Day
TuesdayTueAug 01, 2023Aug 01National Girlfriends Day
SundaySunAug 06, 2023Aug 06National Sister Day
MondayMonSep 18, 2023Sep 18National Cheeseburger Day
TuesdayTueOct 03, 2023Oct 03National Boyfriends Day
WednesdayWedOct 04, 2023Oct 04National Vodka Day
WednesdayWedOct 04, 2023Oct 04National Taco Day
MondayMonOct 09, 2023Oct 09Leif Erikson Day
SaturdaySatOct 21, 2023Oct 21Sweetest Day
SundaySunOct 29, 2023Oct 29National Cat Day
TuesdayTueOct 31, 2023Oct 31Halloween
FridayFriNov 03, 2023Nov 03National Sandwich Day
FridayFriNov 24, 2023Nov 24Black Friday
MondayMonNov 27, 2023Nov 27Cyber Monday
SaturdaySatDec 02, 2023Dec 02Candle Day
SaturdaySatDec 09, 2023Dec 09National Pastry Day
FridayFriDec 15, 2023Dec 15National Ugly Sweater day