New Year's Day in South Africa

When is New Year's Day in South Africa?

New Year's Day in South Africa is on January 1, 2023. It falls on Sunday.

How many days until New Year's Day in South Africa?

There are 222 Days left until New Year's Day in South Africa.

Is New Year's Day a public holiday in South Africa?

New Year’s Day is one of the most anticipated holidays all over the world. It is a public holiday in South Africa and is observed at exactly one week after the Christmas Day particularly on the 1st day of January. New Year’s Day marks as the start of the new year and the end of the previous year according to the Gregorian Calendar, which is the widely used system of calendar worldwide. It is a joyous celebration and is gleefully celebrated since New Year’s Day indicates as a beginning for the upcoming year. In view of the fact that the holiday is a public observance, majority of businesses, organizations, establishments, banks and such are distinctly closed same as to all centers of learning.

New Year's Day Origin

It is said that the original commemoration of the New Year’s Day took place on March 15th according to the old Roman Calendar. But then, when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced and used as a replacement to the older calendar systems, the date of the celebration was changed on the 1st day of January. This date was plainly fixed on 153 BCE according to the two Roman Consuls. New Year’s Day is a public holiday in South Africa. As indicated in the Public Holidays Act of 1994 in South Africa, if the holiday falls on a weekend, the following day, clearly Monday, would serve as the Public Holiday. New Year’s Day follows the same rule.


New Year's Day Traditions in South Africa

Afrikaners celebrate New Year’s Day along with their families, friends, and relatives. Many Afrikaners would enjoy commemorating the holiday outdoors since January 1st is a warm season in the Southern Hemisphere. However, some families in South Africa would still prefer celebrating this indoors together with their clans. Their visitors may also visit them before midnight came, might be on December 31st, for the reason that they can have a much more joyous celebration when 12 o’clock strikes. A lot of Afrikaners would observe New Year’s Day on the midnight where joyous parties are noticed all through out the night which usually ends in the early morning hours of the day.

Midnight Church Bell Chimes

People in South Africa would know that the celebration of the New Year starts since the church bell chimes at exactly midnight as a declaration for the beginning of the year. Upon hearing the sound of the bells ringing, Afrikaners gleefully cheer with excitement and euphoria. One interesting previous custom in South Africa is when the church bell chimes, people would throw refrigerators, and some would also fire gunshots. However, this old tradition was dismissed because of risk and the possibility of such practice causing harm to public.

New Year's Festival of Light

Afrikaners’ another custom is the New Year’s Festival of Light. This is arranged by the Bethesda Arts Center on the Eastern Cape Town located in Niue Bethesda. The parade starts on their town under the starlit sky and ends on the Arts Center. This celebration is a magical lantern parade observed at exactly 8 p.m. Creating their respective lantern is noticed in the workshop or they can even let the community artists construct for them. This is said to be the most appreciated and inspiring event on South Africa since it connects to the heart of every people.

Hot Air Balloon Safari

In South Africa, a Hot Air Balloon Safari is also observed on New Year’s Day. Many Afrikaners would witness this unforgettable experience which serves as the first sunrise of the beginning of the year above the Magalies River Valley which will land down on the Champagne - Breakfast located on the Bill Harrop’s Balloon derived from the Cradle of Nature.

Beach Trips

One of the most popular destination where people in South Africa head to celebrate New Year’s Day are beaches, particularly in the province of KwaZulu Natal Durban. It is the one of the greatest spots since several events are organized for the public to have fun celebrating New Year’s Day. Beaches like this would be crowded more than the usual days because of the holiday observance. Afrikaners would enjoy their stay there through partying at night. The venues of these parties would be held in night clubs, bars, and even in the beach or near the beach. These places would be field with loud noises because of the energetic mood of most Afrikaners in the party.

Attending New Year's Parties

Another famous place to celebrate this holiday is held in Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. Loud sounds from the party’s music mixed with their entertaining dances and drinks are also common in the party. Alluring fireworks would keep people’s attention which surely captivates them too, at exactly 12 am on the first of January.

Dates of Observance for New Year's Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 January 01 Sunday New Year's Day
2024 January 01 Monday New Year's Day
2025 January 01 Wednesday New Year's Day
2026 January 01 Thursday New Year's Day
2027 January 01 Friday New Year's Day
2028 January 01 Saturday New Year's Day
Upcoming South Africa Holidays
Holiday Date
Youth Day June 16, 2022
Father's Day June 19, 2022
Nelson Mandela Day July 18, 2022