How do we do culture and heritage? We BRAAI!

South Africa is fondly referred to as the Rainbow Nation because of its diverse cultures and religions.  In South Africa, we have a day dedicated to celebrating the cultural wealth of our nation….HERITAGE DAY (commonly known as BRAAI DAY)! 

Held annually on 24 September 2019, Heritage Day is traditionally celebrated with a ‘braai’ (pronounced ‘bry’ – known as a barbecue in other countries) – hence its alternative name.

While it may seem that there is little to no difference between a braai and a barbecue, there are in fact some very distinct differences!

…..the FIRE

We cook on open flame using wood and coals.  A gas braai isn’t truly considered a ‘braai’.  The fire is part of what makes it unique.  And when we’re done cooking our meat, we let the fire burn and gather around it eating and chilling.


We don’t need ANY excuse for a braai!

We braai ALL.THE.TIME.  Many South Africans will braai at least once a week!  Many more often than that.  Its Sunday…great day for a braai!  Its sunny outside…great day for a braai!  A little chilly today…move the braai to the veranda/patio/any covered area and its…a great day for a braai!

Just for meat?  No way!

We braai mostly anything at all!  Mielies (corn on the hob), vegetables, meat on a skewer, vegetables on a skewer, boerewors, lamb, chicken, fish… you name it, we can braai it!


Its a tradition

ALL South Africans love a good braai.  No matter our culture, language or religion, braa’ing cuts across all lines.

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We go a little overboard…

Don’t ever worry that ‘there won’t be enough’!  We go overboard with the amount of food we cook.  And don’t forget about the salads and breads that accompany the meat!

Its festive!

A braai is all about having a good time.  A gathering of friends and family coming together to enjoy good food, drinks and great companionship.  And they can get quite festive!  Sometimes an epic rugby match will form part of the whole experience…it can lead to some pretty rowdy times!

At Thompsons Africa we didn’t break tradition!

Together with our colleagues from Pentravel, Thompsons Holidays, Edusport, Thompsons Corporate and Cullinan Holdings, we gathered for our own workplace braai and celebrated Heritage Day Thompsons Africa style!  Some of us dressed to the nines reflecting our varied cultures and traditions.  Beautiful!


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