Family Day in South Africa

When is Family Day in South Africa?

Family Day in South Africa is on April 10, 2023. It falls on Monday.

How many days until Family Day in South Africa?

There are 319 Days left until Family Day in South Africa.

Is Family Day a public holiday in South Africa?

The day after Easter Sunday is a public holiday in South Africa known as Family Day. Family Day was instituted by the South African government to give people an opportunity to have an extra day off from work and spend quality time with their respective families. The day’s designation as a public holiday created a longer Easter weekend for the South Africans. Since this holiday is celebrated the day after Easter Sunday, its date of observance is directly dependent on when Easter is also celebrated.

About Family Day in South Africa

Family Day is a holiday currently observed in South Africa the day after Easter Sunday each year. This holiday was established for the purpose of giving each South African family (regardless of religion and background) a special day to be with their loved ones. In the past, instead of celebrating Family Day, the country is celebrating this day as Easter Monday. Easter Monday succeeding Easter Sunday, is a celebration with religious connotation.

From Easter Monday to Family Day

South Africans have observed Easter Monday for a long time in the previous years, along with other Easter holidays (Good Friday, Easter Saturday, and Easter Sunday). However, under the presidency of Nelson Mandela (1994 – 1999), the government has decided to repackage Easter Monday. This occurred in the year 1995. From Easter Monday, the holiday was alternatively renamed as ‘Family Day’.

Rather than Easter Monday which is an observance related to the Christian religion (Easter is established to commemorate Jesus Christ’s resurrection), the government renamed the holiday as Family Day to ensure that all families in the country, regardless of religion, could celebrate the day in the same way. Although majority of South Africa’s population are Christians, there are still others who adhere to other religious groups (e.g. Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and other traditional African religions). Hence, with the rebranding, the new holiday was stripped off from any religious references, making it a special family day for all South African families instead. Since the alteration (in 1995), the country has been observing Family Day every year up until the present times.


Family Day Traditions in South Africa

Family Day has been celebrated in South Africa for how many years now. The day was designated as a public holiday in the country. Being a public holiday, government offices, schools, and other learning institutions in South Africa are closed for the day. In terms of business, most of the country’s companies also closed and employees are given a time off work. Nevertheless, some of the business organizations continue to operate on this day such as convenience stores, museums, parks, tourist attractions, resorts, and other private-owned businesses.

Family Activities

Family Day was established with the purpose of strengthening bonds among family members in the South African society. Since this holiday is observed the day after Easter Sunday, it makes the Easter weekend longer for the people. Because of this, many South Africans take advantage of this break by traveling. While there are some who’d rather go abroad, many others book their getaway trips just within the country. Family Day and its preceding days (Easter holidays) are popular days for traveling, thus, the country’s tourist destinations, resorts, and other attractions are expected to get a bit crowded on these days. This is primarily the reason why some of the people would book their accommodations several weeks in advance of the holiday’s observance. Traveling has become part of the activities often done in South Africa during the observance of Family Day. The day is taken by many as the perfect holiday to unwind and loosen up from the stress brought by the everyday life (work, school, bills, etc.).

South Africa’s Family Day doesn’t necessarily have any traditional practices associated with it. The holiday’s celebration varies from family to family. While there are several families who choose to travel on this day (or even before this day considering the long weekend brought by Easter), other families are seen casually relaxing at their respective homes while enjoying the company of their loved ones. Playing games with the kids, or even simply watching tv shows which focus on the importance of family relationships, is already a great way to spend this non-working day. Family Day in South Africa is meant to be enjoyed with the presence of their families, relatives, friends, and other people who are dear to them. On this day, family gatherings are a typical sight in the country. Most of the people also take advantage of this holiday to visit their parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, and other family members who live in faraway places.

Braai

Having barbecues (braai in the Afrikaans language) are also done by some people during the holiday. Some have this in their backyards while others have beach barbecues instead. Family Day is typically celebrated during the country’s autumn season (South Africa is located in the Southern Hemisphere, making its seasons opposite to those countries belonging to the Northern Hemisphere), thus, at this time, the sun isn't as strong as it is during summer. Because of this, going to the beach has also become one of the finest choices for the South Africans to spend the day. Small feasts are even prepared by other families so they can have a wonderful time with their loved ones while enjoying some tasty dishes.

Visiting Museums or Parks

Going to the museums or the parks is also another way to celebrate Family Day. South African families, especially those with little kids, customarily visit amusement parks/ theme parks on this day. With the holiday’s observance, it’s expected for these places to have more visitors than usual. The Gold Reef City in Johannesburg, Gauteng (which offers various exciting family-oriented adventures and some of the most thrilling rides in the southern hemisphere), the uShaka Marine World in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (which offers water rides, dolphin, seal & penguin shows, and other water-related activities), the Adventure Land in Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape (which offers a playground area as well as braai and picnic facilities), and the Sun City Theme Park in North West Province (which offers various family-centered leisure and entertainment options) are only few of the numerous amusement parks/theme parks in South Africa which are commonly visited by the public during the holiday. For others, museum visits are also an interesting choice to spend the day. Nonetheless, whatever the choice of place is, and regardless if it’s indoors or outdoors, the people should still have a wonderful Family Day celebration if they got to spend it together with their families and their closest friends.

Dates of Observance for Family Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 April 10 Monday Family Day
2024 April 01 Monday Family Day
2025 April 21 Monday Family Day
2026 April 06 Monday Family Day
2027 March 29 Monday Family Day
2028 April 17 Monday Family Day
Upcoming South Africa Holidays
Holiday Date
Youth Day June 16, 2022
Father's Day June 19, 2022
Nelson Mandela Day July 18, 2022