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Happy Heritage Day

Best Buddies blog

Best Buddies blog

Celebrating Heritage Day!

Heritage Day is celebrated annually on 24 September, which is a public holiday in South Africa.

The holiday was originally known as Shaka Day, in honour of the legendary Zulu king, Shaka Zulu. In 1995, it was renamed Heritage Day to celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of all South Africans.

In South Africa, Heritage Day is often referred to as “Braai Day,” as it has become a popular tradition for people to gather with friends and family and grill meat outdoors, known as a “braai.”

South Africa has 11 official languages, and Heritage Day is a time to celebrate and appreciate the country’s linguistic diversity.

The country has a rich history of struggle against apartheid, and Heritage Day is an opportunity to commemorate those who fought for democracy and freedom.

Proud Of My Heritage!

South Africa is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Cradle of Humankind, the Robben Island Museum, and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.

The traditional attire of different South African cultures is a significant part of the country’s heritage, and Heritage Day is a time to showcase and celebrate these unique styles.

The national animal of South Africa is the springbok, a type of antelope that is known for its speed and agility.

South Africa is also famous for its wine production, with several regions throughout the country producing high-quality wines.

Nelson Mandela, one of the most famous figures in South African history, was born on July 18, which is also celebrated as Mandela Day in the country.
South Africa is a country with a rich cultural diversity, and Heritage Day celebrates this diversity, with people from different backgrounds showcasing their traditions, food, music, and dances.

In 2005, the South African government launched a campaign to encourage people to wear their traditional clothing on Heritage Day to celebrate the country’s cultural diversity.

Traditional South African dishes such as braaivleis (grilled meat), pap (maize porridge), chakalaka (spicy relish), and biltong (dried meat) are often served on Heritage Day.

The South African flag was designed by Frederick Brownell and first flown on 27 April 1994, the day of the country’s first democratic elections. It features six colours representing the country’s different cultural groups.

South Africa has a rich musical heritage, with various traditional and contemporary music genres, including maskandi, kwaito, jazz, and hip hop.

South Africa is home to many cultural and historical landmarks, including the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, the Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, and the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum in Soweto.

South Africa’s wildlife and natural beauty are also a significant part of the country’s heritage, with iconic species such as lions, elephants, rhinos, and leopards found in national parks such as Kruger and Addo.

South Africa has a rich history of art and literature, with notable artists and writers such as William Kentridge, Athol Fugard, and Nadine Gordimer.

South Africa has a rich sporting heritage, with rugby, cricket, and football being the most popular sports in the country.

Heritage Day is an opportunity for South Africans to reflect on their shared history and the progress made towards building a united, non-ratial country.

We need to keep our traditions alive, so we must never forget our past or the people who changed our futures for us in South Africa.

Now for a Heritage Day Recipe:

An important part of Heritage Day  is the cuisine! I would like to kick things off with a recipe that the whole family can spend the day baking together. It’s a carrot cake with a twist! Have fun!

Best Buddies Carrot Cake 


For the Carrot Cake:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

For the Cheesecake:

240g cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

For the Frosting:

1 cup icing sugar
4 tablespoons butter, softened
120g softened cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chopped pecans or walnuts, for garnish.


Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 9″ springform pan.

Make Carrot Cake Mixture:

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and
baking soda. Stir in oil, then add eggs and mix until combined. Add carrots,
raisins and nuts and mix until combined.
Make cheesecake mixture:

In a large bowl using a hand mixer or in the bowl of a
stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until
Stir in salt and flour. Mix in vanilla and eggs, beating 1 minute between each
addition, then add sour cream.

Assemble Cheesecake:

Pour 2/3 carrot cake mixture into prepared pan and smooth top
with spatula.
Top with spoonful’s of 1/3 cheesecake mixture, then pour over
remaining carrot cake mixture.
Top with remaining cheesecake mixture and smooth
top with a spatula.
Bake until center is only slightly jiggly, 1 hour. Let cool completely,
then transfer to the fridge to cool – 4 hours.
Run a knife around inside of springform
pan and unmold from pan.
When ready to serve, make frosting: Beat sugar, butter,
cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.
Frost cheesecake, then garnish with pecans or
walnuts and let chill, 10 minutes, before serving.

I hope you celebrated Heritage Day, no matter what your culture is! We are all proudly South African even if we don’t originally come from this beautiful country, so enjoy your public holiday anyway you like!

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