This list of holidays includes both public holidays and observances in South Africa. Public holidays are special days that everyone gets off work, while observances are traditional celebrations and events that are popular in a particular country without a day-off work status. Some dates above may be modified as official changes are announced, so please check back regularly for updates.

Date Weekday Holiday Name Holiday Type Description and comments
January 1 Tuesday New Year's Day Public holiday

The first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar.

February 14 Thursday St. Valentine's Day Observance

Valentine's Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love.

March 21 Thursday Human Rights Day Public holiday

In South Africa, Human Rights Day is celebrated on 21 March, in remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre (1960).

April 19 Friday Good Friday Public holiday

Christian holiday celebrating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday

April 20 Saturday Holy Saturday Observance

Christian holiday which commemorates the day that Jesus' body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell. It's the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter.

April 21 Sunday Easter Sunday Observance

Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament.

April 22 Monday Family Day Public holiday

This public holiday marks a time when families gather together. It falls on Monday after the Easter Sunday.

April 27 Saturday Freedom Day Public holiday

That day celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid and non-racial national elections held on that day in 1994.

May 1 Wednesday International Workers' Day Public holiday

It's a celebration of labourers and the working classes which occurs every year on May Day (1 May), an ancient European spring festival.

May 12 Sunday Mother's Day Observance

Celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. Second Sunday of May in many countries all over the globe

June 16 Sunday Father's Day Observance

Celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Third Sunday in June in many countries

June 16 Sunday Youth Day Public holiday

Holiday dedicated to the youths of a country in remembrance of the Soweto Student Uprising

June 17 Monday Youth Day Holiday Public holiday

When the Youth Day falls on a Sunday, an additional day-off will be on Monday after the weekend.

July 18 Thursday Nelson Mandela Day Observance

The day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's former President, and his values, through volunteering and community service

August 9 Friday National Women's Day Public holiday

Anniversary of the historic events in the struggle for freedom and women's rights in South Africa

September 24 Tuesday Heritage Day Public holiday

A day to remember and celebrate the various South African cultures and their heritage.

December 16 Monday Day of Reconciliation Public holiday

The day of fostering reconciliation and national unity for the country.

December 24 Tuesday Christmas Eve Observance

Christian holiday, day or evening preceding the traditional birthday of Jesus

December 25 Wednesday Christmas Day Public holiday

Christian feast day that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Held on December 25th in Western Christianity and some Eastern churches, and on January 7th in Oriental Orthodoxy churches and most Eastern churches

December 26 Thursday Day of Goodwill Public holiday

Better known to most as Boxing Day. Day of Goodwill is the day for giving, and especially to the less fortunate.

December 31 Tuesday New Year's Eve Observance

The final day of the Gregorian year

Holidays in South Africa in 2019

This list of holidays includes both public holidays and observances in South Africa. Public holidays are special days that everyone gets off work, while observances are traditional celebrations and events that are popular in a particular country without a day-off work status. Some dates above may be modified as official changes are announced, so please check back regularly for updates.

Date Weekday Holiday Name Holiday Type Description and comments
January 1 Tuesday New Year's Day Public holiday

The first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar as well as the Julian calendar.

February 14 Thursday St. Valentine's Day Observance

Valentine's Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love.

March 21 Thursday Human Rights Day Public holiday

In South Africa, Human Rights Day is celebrated on 21 March, in remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre (1960).

April 19 Friday Good Friday Public holiday

Christian holiday celebrating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. It is observed on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday

April 20 Saturday Holy Saturday Observance

Christian holiday which commemorates the day that Jesus' body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell. It's the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter.

April 21 Sunday Easter Sunday Observance

Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament.

April 22 Monday Family Day Public holiday

This public holiday marks a time when families gather together. It falls on Monday after the Easter Sunday.

April 27 Saturday Freedom Day Public holiday

That day celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid and non-racial national elections held on that day in 1994.

May 1 Wednesday International Workers' Day Public holiday

It's a celebration of labourers and the working classes which occurs every year on May Day (1 May), an ancient European spring festival.

May 12 Sunday Mother's Day Observance

Celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. Second Sunday of May in many countries all over the globe

June 16 Sunday Father's Day Observance

Celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Third Sunday in June in many countries

June 16 Sunday Youth Day Public holiday

Holiday dedicated to the youths of a country in remembrance of the Soweto Student Uprising

June 17 Monday Youth Day Holiday Public holiday

When the Youth Day falls on a Sunday, an additional day-off will be on Monday after the weekend.

July 18 Thursday Nelson Mandela Day Observance

The day to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's former President, and his values, through volunteering and community service

August 9 Friday National Women's Day Public holiday

Anniversary of the historic events in the struggle for freedom and women's rights in South Africa

September 24 Tuesday Heritage Day Public holiday

A day to remember and celebrate the various South African cultures and their heritage.

December 16 Monday Day of Reconciliation Public holiday

The day of fostering reconciliation and national unity for the country.

December 24 Tuesday Christmas Eve Observance

Christian holiday, day or evening preceding the traditional birthday of Jesus

December 25 Wednesday Christmas Day Public holiday

Christian feast day that celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Held on December 25th in Western Christianity and some Eastern churches, and on January 7th in Oriental Orthodoxy churches and most Eastern churches

December 26 Thursday Day of Goodwill Public holiday

Better known to most as Boxing Day. Day of Goodwill is the day for giving, and especially to the less fortunate.

December 31 Tuesday New Year's Eve Observance

The final day of the Gregorian year

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