Cape Town’s version of the Rio Carnival will be held on 5 January 2015. The annual Minstrel Carnival will revert back to its original route through the Bo-Kaap from 12:00 to 23:30 on 5 January.
The Cape Minstrels, Malay and Christmas Choirs will be supported financially by the Provincial Government with R2.37 million Rand to ensure this important event lives on and is enjoyed by young and old alike.
The carnival usually takes place on 2 January and is also known as the Coons Carnival, Tweede Nuwe Jaar (second New Year) and Kaapse Klopse by locals. The day has been changed to accommodate a Muslim religious celebration taking place on 2 January. As many as 13 000 minstrels take to the streets in brightly coloured outfits with bright umbrellas and playing a variety of instruments.
This carnival is seen as a right of renewal that has been shaped by the history of Cape Town. Tweede Nuwe Jaar (2nd New Year) is a day that is unique to Cape Town and stems from practices associated with the slavery and its history is linked with the Coon Carnival. Slaves were given a day off on 2 January to celebrate the New Year in their own way. During this alternate New Year celebration, the slaves would dress up as minstrels and dance rhythmically to the sounds of banjos, guitars, ghoema drums, whistles, trombones and tubas. Second New Year is a celebration of a community’s survival and illustrates the continuity between its past, present and future.
Make sure you do not miss this colourful New Year’s tradition in Cape Town by looking for accommodation on the route on Junk Mail!