public holiday

South Africans will enjoy 14 public holidays in 2023 – and the next one falls next week! Did anyone say ‘long weekend’? Image: Canva

Public holidays in 2020: We lose one, gain one, and Orania gets their own

Bored in the office, we had another look at our public holidays calendar for 2020. We noticed a few anomalies and even saw what Orania has planned.

public holiday

South Africans will enjoy 14 public holidays in 2023 – and the next one falls next week! Did anyone say ‘long weekend’? Image: Canva

Look at the time this article was published. Also, take into consideration that we’ve been online since 5:00. Then consider that today is “Blue Monday” – officially the most depressing day of the working year – and you’ll understand why we’ve been looking at where our next public holiday is coming from.

Public holidays in Orania

Well, once we put the calendar together (and booked some tactical leave days off) it dawned on us that there are a couple of anomalies to discuss. We also learned that different parts of South Africa celebrate different holidays. Well, one very infamous community does, anyway: Turns out Orania has its own off-days…

Thursday 27 February – Majuba Day: Celebrates the end of the First Boer War. All set up for a sequel in May.

Monday 6 April – Founder’s Day: A day to commemorate Jan van Riebeeck. Can’t see it catching on outside of Orania.

Sunday 31 May – Bitter Enders’ Day: No, not for the people who stuck with the last few episodes of Game of Thrones. This pays tribute to the end of the Second Boer War

Friday 14 August – Linguistics Day: Dedicated to the heritage and culture of the Afrikaans language. Panyaza Lesufi’s invite got lost in the post last year…

Saturday 10 October – Heroes’ Day: A day in Orania which celebrates the life of former SA President, Paul Kruger. We can already hear the cynics here, asking for a VAR check on the use of the term “heroes”.

Wednesday 16 December – Day of the Vow: As South Africa celebrates the Day of Reconciliation, Oranians – and the wider Afrikaaner community – remember the Battle of Blood River. Whichever you’re celebrating, if you book the following two days off work (17 and 18 December), you can start your Christmas break five days early.

Public holidays in South Africa for 2020

But what about those of us who don’t have busts of Hendrik Verwoerd looking over our towns? Well, we still have 12 state-mandated days off. New Year’s Day has been and gone, and our next official respite from work should have been in March.

Sadly, Human Rights Day falls on a Saturday this year. That means that the majority of us who work Monday – Friday will miss out on getting the day off. Oh, the irony is not lost on us.

Countdown to our next day off

But where South Africa has failed us, it is the women of this nation who will pick us up once more. We almost lost National Women’s Day to the weekend. But, with these festivities falling on a Sunday, we get an extra day to celebrate as the holiday rolls over to Monday 10 August. Absolute scenes!

It’s a total of 63 days until our next official public holiday of 2020. But we have to wait another 83 days for our first midweek celebration of the year. For those of you counting, it’s another 340 days until Christmas. We also recommend getting a hobby and talking to a qualified professional about your glaring issues if you’ve already started that particular countdown, though.

  • Here’s the full public holiday calendar for the next 12 months
DateDayPublic holidays left in 2020
21 MarSatHuman Rights Day
10 AprFriGood Friday
13 AprMonFamily Day
27 AprMonFreedom Day
1 MayFriWorkers’ Day
16 JunTueYouth Day
9 AugSunNational Women’s Day
10 AugMonNational Women’s Day Holiday
24 SepThuHeritage Day
16 DecWedDay of Reconciliation
25 DecFriChristmas Day
26 DecSatDay of Goodwill