The Tweede Nuwe Jaar, or second New Year holiday, on January 2nd dates back to the time of slavery – their owners had New Year’s celebrations, which required the slaves to cook, serve food, and attend to the guest’s needs. These owners allowed the slaves to have the following day off instead by way of thanks – bear in mind this was their only holiday of the year.

Nowadays, this holiday features Cape Minstrels from various communities dancing through the city centre. They dance in troupes who all wear outfits made from same colours, which are agreed upon by the various leaders, or captains, of the troupes. These colours are kept from the other members until a week before the festival. If people don’t like the chosen colours it’s too late for them to change to another troupe with nicer colours as the dances take weeks of rehearsals to prepare.

At the Bo Kaap museum, a Cape Dutch style house with many exhibits, there is a room dedicated to the singing/dancing troupes that contest these competitions.

julian200Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734