Nothing like a braai to welcome summer
National Braai Day is probably a better name for yesterday's Heritage Day. Out of South Africa's dozen public holidays, it falls in the best time of the year.
Unlike the constant work interruptions in Autumn caused by Human Rights Day on March 21, then the Easter break in April followed by Workers' Day on May 1, bosses don't gripe about this nice spring break.
But does South Africa have an excessive number of public holidays? Interestingly, a comparison of other countries using www.bank-holidays.com shows we get about the same number of days off as our US and European colleagues.
Public holidays in South Africa are simpler than in most countries because they don't vary by province. In the US, there are usually 10 national holidays plus every state has special days. This year, banks, stock exchanges and government offices remained closed an extra day in the new year to mourn the death of former president Gerald Ford.
Five public holidays are fairly universal: New Year's Day, Good Friday, Family Day (or Easter Monday), Christmas Day, and Day of Good (or Boxing Day).
Besides religious holidays, countries invariably have a national day.
Ours is Freedom Day on April 27 to commemorate the country's first democratic election.
If the campaign to rename Heritage Day National Braai Day succeeds, South Africa may have a chance of creating something as universally celebrated as Ireland's national day - St Patrick's Day.