Mother City Magic ~Cape Town

Mother City Magic ~Cape Town
Written and edited by Veronica Clark

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year

Hello Dear friends.

Welcome 2012

Happy New Year to You!!

In Cape Town, we celebrate what is known as " tweede nuwejaar" (for our foreign readers ~ it means the second New Year's" on the 2nd of January )

It is the day of The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival.

Believe me it is a very festive and colourful event!!

This morning we awoke to rain on the second new years, but it did not deter anyone, one little bit. Upon my arrival in a wet and dismal Adderley Street this is what  I found...

Folks who overnight in their tents, to get the best spot of course, were keeping warm with flasks of coffee. Old and young! Now the waiting game....

The newspaper announced that the parade would start at ten o' clock but no such luck... We were in for a three hour wait!! Fortunately I had already had my coffee and was well fortified for the wait. The families surrounding me kept me watered and fed as time wore on and the weather improved.
Thank you kindly!

The crowds grew steadily in numbers until thousands lined the route that the parade would take. Security was super duper as was every single aspect of the organisation. Public toilets were provided and cleaned regularly, officials were on hand to help tourists and I have to say I was so very impressed. Well done to all!

Before I  let you enjoy the parade allow me to tell you a bit more about it.

The carnival has its roots in creole culture that came into being over centuries of interaction of  African  and European settlers, Muslim slaves from Indonesia and various other groups. The freed slaves developed their own festivals almost as an independence for the coloured community. With the arrival of American mistrals in the mid-nineteenth century, their styles and sounds of vaudeville were to become part of the local celebrations known as " The Coon Carnival" or as we call it in Afrikaans "Die Kaapse Klopse" ( klopse meaning troupe)  There are a myriad of cosmopolitan influences but it remains very local in character. 

Let's take a look...

Old and young, men and women (nowadays)  and the very tiniest participate!

What a little star she is!

cute overload...

Thousands of merry mistrals take to the streets.

There is the sound of banging drums and strumming banjos, trumpets and tambourines.

Wonderful humour and priceless facial expressions...

A dazzling array of shiny colours and outfits, some costumes are intricate and amazing.

An errand bride below right!

Some troupes have corporate sponsors but other remain steadfastly with tradition...

Some get tired and sleep through the noise!

Gleaming brass booms...

Colour colour and more colour...

The troupes antics are a delight as they dance through the streets pumping their umbrellas or hats up and down supported by their families in the crowd lining the streets.

Isn't he just precious?

Adored their costumes!


Man, was he having a good, good time!


I loved this colour combo!


These two were a hit!

It was a wonderful day!

I travelled along the route and through thousands lining the streets  to  follow some of the troupes. The crowds were all so well behaved and the officials did a sterling job!

Congratulations to all!

Thank you for a great day.

Lastly, a note to the rest of the local population...

Next year please support a wonderful tradition!!

Now this is the true Cape Town Vibe!

I hope you enjoyed that.

Thanks for your company

Linking to:
 Our World Tuesday here
Mosaic Monday At Little Red House here
Please leave me with your comments below



all images are my own and I do not edit them in any way.


  1. Happy New Year!
    I feel I can listen to the lively brass band and it cheers us on the beginning of the year.
    All kids are very cute and all costumes are very colorful and lovely. And thank you for the explanation of this festival's origin.

  2. I do believe you know how to have a great party in Cape Town.
    Great costumes.

  3. All of the colour is fantastic! It looks like a fun day.

  4. Love this blog, pls keep blogging:) I came accross it by pinterest and I will make sure to save the address. Greetings from Norway

  5. I love this post. Very beautiful post about festive celebration of new year. Here's my new year wishes hoping that everyone is having a great holiday! Happy New Year!

  6. What a nice colorful festivity you've got there. Happy holidays to you. Sending my new year greetings wishes for all of you. Happy new year!