|1 January||New Year's Day|
|2 January||Public holiday|
|21 March||Human Rights Day|
|6 April||Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)|
|9 April||Family Day (Monday after Easter Sunday)|
|27 April||Freedom Day|
|1 May||Workers' Day|
|16 June||Youth Day|
|9 August||National Women's Day|
|24 September||Heritage Day|
|16 December||Day of Reconciliation|
|17 December||Public holiday|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Day of Goodwill|
Phew, that seems like a lot! As South Africa is a relatively new country, we celebrate things like our Constitution (Human Rights Day), our first free elections (Freedom Day), and reconciliation (Day of Reconciliation). We also celebrate the role of various groups against apartheid- such as labour movements (Workers' Day), students (Youth Day) and women (Women's Day). I think these are all great things to celebrate, and it's even better since we get all of these days as public holidays*.
When I was growing up, I had very little appreciation for all of these holidays, apart from the fact that they usually meant a day off school. Our South African holidays mark important, often tragic, events which happened on our way to a democracy. I hope that students in schools today will have the stories explained to them, even if they are violent, to show our new generations how far we have come. I would like to explain to my students what each of these holidays are, and why they can be proud of their country.
In other news, I had my first job interview yesterday. The panel were lovely, and although I was a bundle of nerves I seemed to make a good impression. Sadly, I did not get the position, though the principal of the school told me on the phone that she thinks I will make a great teacher. While I'm a bit sad that I didn't get the post, her words did help to boost my confidence. For now, it's back to sending out CVs and hoping.