Day Of Goodwill

December 26th is the Day of Goodwill in many countries around the world. In countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom, this day is known as Boxing Day. In South Africa, this holiday was also once known by that name, but it was changed at the end of the 20th century.

In its current form, this holiday is a day on which people can give away things they don’t need to the poor, donate any leftover food, or give back to society by volunteering their time. It’s also a day for people to recover from the hectic holidays and to simply give themselves a day of rest.

The History of Day of Goodwill

As previously mentioned, the Day of Goodwill was originally celebrated as Boxing Day in South Africa. However, that changed in 1994 as a way for South Africa to distance itself from its colonial past.

Facts About South Africa

Since the Day of Goodwill is predominantly celebrated in South Africa, we thought it might be fun to include some of the facts we’ve learned about this country during the course of our holiday research. The following facts are sure to entertain anyone looking to learn a little bit more about South African history and culture.

  • Approximately 80% of South Africa’s population is Black African. 9% are a mix of White and African or White and Asian, and 8% are Caucasian.
  • 2% of South Africa’s population is ethnic Indian.
  • South Africa has 11 different official languages.
  • Official South African languages include English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, siSwati, Sesotho, Sepedi, Xitsonga, Tshivenda, and Setswana.
  • South Africa has three capital cities: Cape Town is home to the legislative branch, Pretoria is home to the executive branch, and Bloemfontein hosts the judicial branch.
  • One of the oldest mountains in the world is Table Mountain in South Africa.
  • Table Mountain has over 2,100 different plant species.
  • Off the coast of South Africa, there are over 3,000 shipwrecks.
  • The South African flag was first used on Freedom Day in 1994.
  • South Africa became the first African country to recognize same-sex marriage in 2006.
  • The world’s largest bicycle race is the Cape Town Cycle Tour, which can feature over 36,000 riders at a time.
  • South Africa is the only country in the world (so far) that decided to build a nuclear weapons program and then voluntarily dismantle it.

Observing Day of Goodwill

For many people in South Africa, this holiday is used as a rest day—a day to recover from Christmas and to enjoy a little bit of fun in the sun. For others, it’s a time to get busy and do some nice things for their fellow citizens. This may include boxing up old clothing they don’t need and giving it to the poor, or donating their time and money. While celebrating this holiday, people can use the hashtag #DayOfGoodwill to spread the word about this holiday.

Where is it celebrated?
South Africa (Public holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
December 26 Thursday
Next year (2025)
December 26 Friday
Last year (2023)
December 26 Tuesday