Access to the Castle in Cape Town is complimentary on Heritage Day, Thursday, September 24.
Last year, 10000 heritage patrons made a visit to the historic site. The following programme promises to be even more exciting than even last year’s, because a special event has been added for Friday, September 25 – the day the ground was cleared for the Castle to be built.
Heritage Day, Thursday, September 24
9am: Traditional cultural dance/Military Veterans’ band welcomes guests at the main gate
9.30am: Everyone to meet at the Torture Room in the rear courtyard where Castle CEO, will welcome the crowd and speak about the significance of Heritage Day at the Castle (with short dramatic interpretation of the Torture Room activities by Contralesa, Congress of traditional leaders of South Africa)
10am: Key ceremony (soldiers marching)
10.05am: Firing of the Castle canon
10.15am: Everyone gathers in the front courtyard to sing the South African National Anthem. The anthem will be led by the traditional choirs on site
10.30am: Khoi poetry by Nama linguistic specialist, Bradley van Sitters
10.45am: Speaker: JP Maphumolo
11am: Song and Dance performance by the Snake Eye Cultural group
11.15am: Praise singer from the AmaXhlubi
11.30am: Riel dancers
12pm: Key ceremony
12.05pm: Firing of the canon
12.10pm: Amabatha cultural group
12.30pm: Nama Stap dancers
1pm: Address to the crowd by Chairperson of Contralesa (Congress of traditional leaders of South Africa) on the importance of remembering the living traditions and cultures in present day South Africa.
1.15pm: Amapondo cultural group
1.30pm: AmaXhosa children’s group
1.45pm: New Crossroads Women’s group
2pm: Snake Eye Cultural performance
Throughout the course of the day, a Khoi group will be re-enacting indigenous games in the rear courtyard.
Friday, September 25
11am: A traditional cleansing and healing ceremony commemorating the displacement of a Khoi settlement to make space to build the present-day Castle of Good Hope.
Participants are encouraged to bring along a stone from the area that they are travelling from. This will form part of the ceremony.
12pm: Key ceremony
12.05pm: Firing of the cannon
12:10pm: Move to Old Recruiting rooms. The significance of the day will then be discussed from various angles and perspectives:
Speakers: Ron Martin – Heritage Practitioner
Dr Dan Sleigh – VOC Foundation
Calvyn Gilfellan – CEO of the Castle of Good Hope