South Africa isn’t called ‘the Rainbow Nation’ for nothing! Our diversified country is filled with people who practice different traditions, who come from extremely different backgrounds and who follow unique religions and have special beliefs. However, when it comes to Easter, many South Africans come together to celebrate and eat, even if they aren’t necessarily Christian or Catholic.
Easter is a national holiday that is much looked forward to and to which a lot of excitement and planning is often dedicated. The countless Easter eggs that go on sale months in advance in stores across the country are a true testament to this fact!
In SA, Easter is considered to be an important family day. The religious days of Easter always fall on a long weekend, creating opportunity for loved ones to get together and enjoy some quality time.
Traditionally, Easter is a Christian / Catholic celebration focused on commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. South Africans who follow these religions will usually attend church every day for 4 days between 3 and 6 pm (starting on the Thursday and ending on Easter Sunday).
Depending on the type of church and the cultures most prominent within those churches, these Easter vigils are usually filled with prayer, Bible verse readings, the singing of hymns and the beating of African drums.
On Easter Sunday, many cultures also embrace the tradition of ‘eggs’changing (we couldn’t’ resist) chocolate eggs (which symbolise new life and rebirth) and will often enjoy a family meal in the afternoon or evening consisting of rice, a selection of veggies and roast meat.
Those families that are not religious will often celebrate Easter (seen more as a family event) in their own unique way. They often have their own traditions that they stick to and attach their own special meaning to the day.
Ultimately, whether you are someone who enjoys traditions and goes to church during Easter, or someone who celebrates differently by firing up the braai with a couple of mates, we’re sure that you’ll agree that Easter is, and probably always be, a beloved cultural holiday within South Africa.