Afrikaners traditionally celebrated 16 December as the Day of the Vow, remembering the day in 1838 when a group of Voortrekkers defeated a Zulu army at the Battle of Blood River, while ANC activists commemorated it as the day in 1961 when the ANC started to arm its soldiers to overthrow Apartheid.
In the new South Africa's it's a day of reconciliation, a day to focus on overcoming the conflicts of the past and building a new nation. Reconciliation Day is a day of reconciliation among South Africans, fostering unity between racial groups and focusing on forgiving others for conflicts of the country’s past. Freedom Park in Pretoria, capital city of South Africa, is the epicenter for South African government’s official celebrations of Reconciliation Day. Besides political speeches and a military parade, there are exhibitions of South Africa’s diverse cultural indigenous dances, music, traditional costumes, and arts and crafts. The day symbolizes peace, unity, and reconciliation and celebrates difference, tolerance, and diversity as keys for South Africa’s future.
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