What is reconciliation day?

The day of reconciliation widely known as reconciliation is a national public holiday in South Africa. Reconciliation day seeks to promote racial unity, reconciliation and a sense of togetherness amongst all South Africans. It was created to help build a collective national identity after South Africa’s first democratic elections which took place in 1994.

In South Africa, the Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday that was created post-1994 by SA’s first non-racial and democratic government with the intention to foster reconciliation between different racial groups and aimed at promoting national unity and focusing people’s attention on the shared future of South Africa. The first day of reconciliation was implemented by President Nelson Mandela. The 16th of December is an important day for Afrikaners and for the (African National Congress) ANC. The day commemorates the battle of Blood River which occurred in 1838 and is called the day of the vow by Afrikaners. It’s also the day when Umkhonto we Sizwe (the Spear of the Nation) militant wing of the (ANC) was formed in 1961. The ANC strongly advocated for peaceful resistance. The organization was deeply influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. The formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe was a key turning point in the history of the ANC and South Africa as a whole.To see what South Africans thought about the day 2 years ago watch the video below:


This year the 16th of December falls on a Sunday. This means that the 17th will be a public holiday in South Africa. And although I strongly advocate for racial unity, I can’t deny that I’m ecstatic that I’m going to have an extra day off.  There are no official events hosted by the government both local and national to celebrate the day which is a bit sad. There are no reconciliation day traditions either. If you are in South Africa this upcoming reconciliation day remember that most Iziko museums offer free entry on public holidays including reconciliation day.

Reconciliation day in South Africa


Thank you for reading this short post. Do you have a similar holiday in your country? Please feel free to let me know. I love reading comments on my blog and learning about other countries. Thanks again.


Happy holidays

xxx Nikki xxx


  1. roninjax says:

    Enjoyed the post. We need to emphasize racial unity worldwide. Yes, with humans there remain individual prejudices. However, it takes ongoing education, understanding and love to help people worldwide to be tolerant of each other. In fact, God himself created us different and He is no respecter of persons – meaning he doesn’t see any prejudices – but love and compassion and desire to help each of us love one another and love him in return. 🙂

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    1. I agree with your views. The world is faced with many issues and I strongly believe that racial unity leads to better problem solving. Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is heartening to know that there are people who see the value in racial unity especially since I have to deal with racism frequently in my city.

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