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SOUTH AFRICA
LIVING IN SOUTH AFRICA
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SOUTH AFRICA THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

 

JANUARY

 

Summer Sunset Concerts, every Sun evening, Jan – Mar,

Musical performances on the lawns of the Kirstenbosch Cape Botanical gardens.

 

Duzi Canoe Marathon – second week

At Pietermaritzburg. A three day canoe marathon to the Umgeni river.

 

Maynardville Open-air Theatre – (jan-feb)  

In Wynberg, Cape Town. Shakespearean plays in the park at night.

 

Oude Liberatas Arts Program – (Jan-Mar)

In Stellenbosch where performances are done in the amphitheatre among the vines.

 

Minstrel Carnival –  (New Year)

In Cape town, a colorful procession culminates in concerts at Green Point Stadium.

 

FEBRUARY

 

FNB Vita Dance Umbrella – (Feb-Mar)

In Braamfontein, Johannesburg, this is one of the most important dance events in SA.

 

Bieliemieliefees – (Feb)

An agricultural show with concerts, traditional food and sports to celebrate the Free State’s main crop of corn.

 

Paarl Show (mid-feb)

Craft stalls and local entertainment in a friendly wineland town.

 

Prickly Pear Festival (early Feb)

William Prinsloo Agricultural Museum in Pretoria has a showcase of 19th century lifestyles and farming practices.

 

Kavady Festival (Feb-Jul)

This is in Durban and is a Hindu festival during which many penitents pierce their flesh with hooks and pull beautiful decorated carts through the streets.

 

MARCH

 

Beer and Bread Festival (early Mar)

In Caledon this celebrates the wheat and barley harvests.

 

Harvest Festival of the Sea (late Mar)

In Saldanha Bay on the west coast, seafood such as Smoorsnoek  are eaten and lots of watersports.

 

Klein Karoo Arts Festival (Mar-apr)

In Oudtshoorn, this is a mainly Afrikaans cultural festival.

 

Rand Easter Show (mar-apr)

This started off as an agricultural show and has become a blend of entertainemtn and consumerism in Johannesburg.

 

Lifecycle Week (early Mar)

At the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, a cycling expo starts just before the annual 65 mile Cape Angus Pick N Pay Cycle Tour.

 

APRIL

 

Zionist Church Gathering (easter)

In Pietersburg in the northern province more than a million followers of this church gather at Moria over the easter weekend.

 

Festival of Light (good Friday)

At the Sri Siva, Soobramoniar and Marrimen temples, visitors are admitted to witness the grand and costly firework display.

 

Fire Walking (easter)

At the Umbilo Hindu Temple in Durban, devout Hindus after careful spiritual

Preparation walk uninjured across a bed of red hot coals.

 

Two oceans Marathon (easter)

Starts at Cape town and is a 35 mile marathonb around the Cape peninsula for a qualifying race for the Comrades Marathon.

 

Ladysmith Show  (apr)

Ladysmith, Kwazulu-Natal is an agricultural show with many craft stalls and entertainment.

 

Potato Festival (apr-may)

At Bethal, Mpumalanga this is a vibrant harvest festival with colorful street processions, arts and craft stalls etc.

 

Splashy Fen Music Festival (last week in Apr)

At Splashy Fen Farm in Underberg, mainstream, alternative, folk and traditional music styles.

 

MAY

 

Picnic Concerts (alternate Sun – May-sep)

At the National Botanical Gardens Roodepoort, there is choral singing and music in a garden setting.

 

Royal Show (may-jun)

Another agricultural show.

 

Sabie Forest Fair (may)

This fair offers arts and crafts and local entertainment around a unique forest museum.

 

JUNE

 

Comrades Marathon (mid june)

Between Durban and Pietermarizburg this ultra long distance running event attracts top class runner sform all over the world.

 

JULY

 

Standard Bank National Arts Festival (mid jul)

In Grahamstown this is a popular two weeks of local  and international drama, film, dance and music.

 

Hibiscus Festival (jul)

On the south coast of Kwazulu a colorful craft stalls and plenty of entertainment.

 

July Handicap (first sat in jul)

At the Greyville Race Course in Durban, this is the plamour event of the SA horse racing scene.

 

Knysna Oyster Festival (early jul)

At Knysna the festival centred on the commercial oyster beds at the lagoon coincides with a forest marathon.

 

Berg River Canoe Marathon (jul)

In Paarl a stenuous four day canoe race that provides some high excitement and is ataged annually when the river is in full flood.

 

Calitzdorp Port Festival (late jul)

In Durban this popular week long surfing championship attracts the worlds best surfers and hordes of spectators.

 

AUGUST

 

Wildflower Show (late aug)

At Pikerberg, the quality of this flower show as well as the vividness of the colors and species depends entirely on the rainfall during the previous winter.

 

Food and Wine Festival (first weekend in aug)

Malmesbury holds this country fair and features a variety of locally grown cereals and wines.

 

Cars In The Park (early aug)

This is in Pretoria and is a place where gleaming vintage cars and vehicles are displayed by their proud owners.

 

Arts Alive (late aug- early sept)

An exciting urban festival with performers ranging from world class musicians to children eager to show off their talents and is held in Johannesburg.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

Guiness Jazz Festival (sept-oct)

In Johannesburg the local and international musicians give a music extravaganza.

 

Karoo Festival (mid sept)

Guided walks through this historic town of Graaf-Reinet.

 

Wildflower Festival (late sept)

The country town of Caledon celebrates its varied flora.

 

Wildflower Show (late sept)

Displays of this unique west coast flora in Darling.

 

Whale Festival (last week in sept)

In Hermanus from the early spring onwards the southern Right whales and their calves can be seen close to the shore in and around Walker Bay.

 

International Eisteddfod of South Africa (sept-oct)

In Roodepoort this is the countrys premier cultural event, with musicians, dancers and choirs.

 

Magoebaskloof Spring Festival (sep-oct)

A bustling arts, crafts and entertainment fair which is held in the forest setting of Magoebaskloof.

 

OCTOBER

 

Currie Cup Finals (late oct)

Match between the best two provincial teams and the location varies from year to year.

 

Tulbagh Festival (late weekend in oct)

In this town the local produce and crafts are displayed.

 

The Johannesburg Biennale (oct of alternate years only)

Activities throughout the city.

 

Raisin Festival (second sat in oct)

In Upinton, music, choir contests and fun on the Orange River near the Augrabies Falls.

 

Model Aircraft Show (oct)

Model aircraft enthusiast participate in this annual event at the local airport of Oudtshoorn.

 

NOVEMBER

 

Cherry Festival (third week in Nov)

In Ficksburg, the only source of commercially grown cherries and asparagus.

 

National Choir Festival (nov-dec)

At the Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg this is a national competition.

 

Nedbank Summer Concert (nov-feb)

In Josphine Mill, Cape Town an outdoor concert of choirs, classical and chamber music.

 

DECEMBER

 

Carols by Candlelight (pre-christmas)

These advent celebrations take place in all major towns and cities.

 

Helderberg Festival of Lights (dec-jan)

In Somerset West in the main street a display of festive lights.

 

Spier Summer Festival (dec-mar)

At Stellenbosch, local and international opera, music, dance. Comedy and drama  events.

 

Miss South Africa

This is held at the famous SunCity and is a glittering beauty pagent.

 

Million Dollar Challenge

Also at Sunb City, an international golfing event that features 12 of the worlds best golfers.