In the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, every 24th September is known as Shaka Day. This day is usually celebrated in commemoration of the Zulu King, Shaka, on the presumed date of his death in 1828. Shaka was the Zulu King ad is widely known in history as one who played an important role in uniting disparate Zulu clans into a cohesive nation.
Each year people come together by the grave side of King Shaka to honour him on the day, i.e. 24th September. The day is observed in South Africa as a public holiday, but it is officially known as ‘Heritage Day’ and not King Shaka Day. However, is it a holiday inspired by the celebration of the late Zulu King.
Heritage Day in South Africa
South Africans of all communities celebrate Heritage Day in remembrance of the cultural heritage of the various cultures that make up the rainbow nation.
Many events are organized across the country to commemorate this. There are dance, music, dancing an other events which makes this day special.
People from both within and outside of South Africa take part in this annual celebration which is full of life, sunshine and bright colours.
King Shaka Day Celebration in KwaZulu Natal
The people of KwaZulu Natal usually take this annual celebration of the life of King Shaka to heart due to the significant place he holds in the history and lives of the Zulu nation.
In the KwaZulu Natal province, the main ceremony is usually held at Dukuza/Stanger. People come in groups from all over the Zulu Kingdom to hear the current Zulu Kings address. It is usually a very colourful and happy event and this year promises to be the same, provided that COVID-19 restrictions have been eased by then.
This day is also known as known as Umkhosi Welembe, in Zulu language. The day is characterized by a lot of singing of traditional Zulu war songs and dancing. Zulu traditional attire is also usually in full display.
KwaDukuza is Shaka’s original homestead and it is also the place where he was murdered in 1828 by his brothers Dingane and Mhlangana.
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