Reconciliation Day Swim
Reconciliation Day Swim, part of the Freedom Swim Series, is a solo ocean race held on 16 December each year at Clifton 3rd Beach in Cape Town, South Africa.
Freedom Swim Series
The Freedom Swim Series includes the Youth Day Swim (16 June each year), Human Rights Day Swim (21 March each year), Brian Curtis Mile, Reconciliation Day Swim (16 December each year), Women's Day Swim (9 August each year), Freedom Day Swim (27 April), and Heritage Day Swim (24 September each year).
The Freedom Swim Series is a succession of cold water Cape Town sea swim races to promote swimming and to raise funds for good causes. Each swim takes place on a public holiday specifically to celebrate these significant days and South Africa’s history and heritage. They aim to raise awareness of the significance of these public holidays and to give back by raising funds for causes which are related to these national public holidays.
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.
On the other side of the political spectrum, 16 December is also the anniversary of the 1961 founding of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the African National Congress.