Day of Reconciliation
The Day of Reconciliation is a public holiday in South Africa held annually on 16 December. The holiday came into effect in 1994 after the end of apartheid, with the intention of fostering reconciliation and national unity. The day is also the de facto start of the South African summer holiday period being the first of four public holidays to fall in a sixteen day period at the height of summer. (The other days are Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day).
Before 1994, 16 December was commemorated as the Day of the Vow, also known as Day of the Covenant or Dingaan’s Day. The Day of the Vow was a religious holiday commemorating the Voortrekker victory over the Zulus at the Battle of Blood River in 1838, and is still celebrated by some Boers.