Twelve public holidays are celebrated in South Africa annually, among them special days to honour workers, youth, women, freedom, heritage and human rights.  Many of these days revolve around historical events that have deep meaning and significance for the population.

South African public holidays include:

New Years Day     - January 1
Human Rights Day    - March 21
Good Friday (Friday before Easter)  - April
Family Day (Monday after Easter)  - April
Freedom Day     - April 27
Workers Day     - May 1
Youth Day     - June 16
Women's Day     - August 9
Heritage Day     - September 24
Day of Reconciliation    - December 16
Christmas Day     - December 25
Day of Goodwill    - December 26

Where a public holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday becomes a public holiday. Should a public holiday fall on a Saturday, it is celebrated on that day.

With the possible exception of Christmas Day and New Year's Day, most tourist services and attractions are open on South African public holidays.  In addition most city shopping centres, restaurants and entertainment venues remain open. The business world, however, takes the opportunity for a well-deserved break.