We celebrate Day of Reconciliation on the 16th of December. and the Summer Solstice on the 21st of December.

Day of Reconciliation

December the 16th is a day to remember our past but also to remember that we have reconciled as South Africans. South Africa has a rich biodiversity of people adorned with many cultures. Through good human relations, harmony is achieved and it is up to us to maintain that harmony.

December the 16th was first celebrated as Day of the Vow by Afrikaners and was also known as Dingaan’s Day. This is because the Voortrekkers believed that they won the Battle of Blood river on the 16th of December 1838, with their God’s help due to a covenant made before.

Due to apartheid and minority rule, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) was formed as a military wing of the African National Congress (ANC) on the 16th of December 1961. The MK was formed to wage an armed struggle against apartheid as peaceful resistance became ineffective. This day was commemorated by ANC members since 1961.

On the 16th of December 1995, Day of Reconciliation was celebrated in South Africa for the first time and continues to be celebrated. It represents reconciliation and unity of all South Africans. A significant public holiday worth celebrating with love.

I encourage you to watch the video below about The Battle of Blood River if you haven’t had the opprtunity to learn about it. I especially like the part where, on the 16th of December 1866, the boers and the zulus stacked a heap of rocks at the site to commemorate the battle of Blood River and the peace between them. The history lessons taught at my school did not include this story and now that I know a bit about the history, this public holiday holds a special place in my heart as a South African.

The Summer Solstice

We will experience the longest day and shortest night on December the 21st. The power of the sun is observed at this time as it will set in the same place for a few days. Summer solstice is celebrated outdoors where there is a clear view of the midsummer sunrise and sunset. People come together to watch the sunset and keep vigil during the shortest night to sit round bonfires, tell stories, sing, and share food and drinks. The sunrise of the Summer Solstice sun is welcomed while energy is absorbed from this magical moment for the shortening days to come.

Unicorn Cafe wishes you a peaceful December and a magical and an energizing summer solstice.

Written by Aimee Hoppe