Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa

When is Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa?

Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa is on July 18, 2022. It falls on Monday.

How many days until Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa?

There are 53 Days left until Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa.

Is Nelson Mandela Day a public holiday in South Africa?

Nelson Mandela International Day (or simply called Mandela Day) is celebrated yearly internationally in honor of Nelson Mandela. Although it is not declared a public holiday in South Africa, it is an important date in the country. The celebration takes place on Nelson Mandela’s birthday, July 18th of every year. This international recognition was declared by United Nations (UN) way back year 2009, particularly in the month of November. It’s a day to honour the legacy and contribution of the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.

About Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a former President of South Africa who served from 1994 to 1999. He was the first black President in South Africa who was elected in an entirely democratic election. His complete name is Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela who was most known for being one of the anti-apartheid activists in the country. He was imprisoned for 27 years resulting from his political activities. He was trying to get rid of apartheid in South Africa. Apartheid was the policy and segregation system placed in South Africa which enforced racial discrimination and inequality against nonwhites in the country. He was accused of overthrowing the government. On year 1990 in the month of February, De Klerk (who served as State President of South Africa at the time) ordered the release of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela is popular for his legacy in helping to end the country’s apartheid system and his contribution in shaping the country’s racial equality. He helped end the discrimination and inequality against nonwhites in political and economic aspects in the country. He was the first black president of South Africa. Mandela is popularly referred to as Madiba (Mandela’s clan name) and is often described as the “Father of the Nation”. Currently, Mandela Day is celebrated worldwide, and most people take this day to do certain acts of kindness. Although it is not an official public holiday in South Africa, Mandela Day is celebrated internationally following UN’s declaration for Nelson Mandela International Day every 18th of July.


Nelson Mandela Day Traditions in South Africa

On July 18, not only the people in South Africa but the people in different countries around the world also celebrate Mandela Day. This day is mainly to celebrate, acknowledge the principles and honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela. For some people, engaging in voluntary works and activities has become a way to celebrate Mandela Day. Since Nelson Mandela is most known for his commitment in racial equality, some parents take this day to educate their kids about the value and essence of respect and racial equality.

67 Minutes of Doing Good

Some people opt to celebrate Mandela Day by engaging to 67 minutes of their day to do good for others. This is generally done by helping the poor and the less fortunate ones. That roots from the things and sacrifices that Mandela did to achieve equality and end of Apartheid system. Some people help feed the poor, donate some clothes, or even engage to some environmental activities like cleaning up. In some schools in South Africa, they pack meals to give to poor people. Generally, this is one of the days where people do certain acts of kindness, just like what Mandela did to his nation and to the world. People believe that if Mandela was able to give 67 years of kindness to the people, they too should contribute by engaging to 67 minutes in a day to do kind things to less fortunate ones.

Paying respect to Nelson Mandela and his Contributions

Offering a prayer and attending church service is also a common practice for people in South Africa during Mandela Day. Some people go to church, mosques, or temples to pay respect. Some churches have special ceremonies in light of the public observance. Generally it’s a day where people embrace and take actions to the values and teachings of Nelson Mandela – respect, equality, freedom, kindness, among many others.

Dates of Observance for Nelson Mandela Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2022 July 18 Monday Nelson Mandela Day
2023 July 18 Tuesday Nelson Mandela Day
2024 July 18 Thursday Nelson Mandela Day
2025 July 18 Friday Nelson Mandela Day
2026 July 18 Saturday Nelson Mandela Day
2027 July 18 Sunday Nelson Mandela Day
Upcoming South Africa Holidays
Holiday Date
Youth Day June 16, 2022
Father's Day June 19, 2022
Nelson Mandela Day July 18, 2022