Heritage is described in the dictionary as ‘something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition: a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage’. In South Africa, we have so many diverse traditions and cultures that are celebrated on this public holiday.

It’s the diversity of our country that makes us so unique and special that no other country has ever experienced

Here in South Africa, all these nationalities join on an annual basis to celebrate our diversity on the day that has now become known as “Braai Day”. Whatever your tradition or culture, all unite to celebrate this day.

The braai is a South African version of the barbeque, where people gather together around a fire, with food, fun, friends, family and much joy

It’s a gathering of festivity where food is cooked on an open fire, enjoyed by all who are there. Much laughter and good stories shared. Something almost every South African loves; and is fond of this tradition.

The food that is most popular is boerewors, chop and steakThanks Wesley Mathee for the picture

The boerewors is what other nationalities might know as sausage, although the South African prides himself on South African meat being the best! These meats are often accompanied by mielies (known as corn on the cob) and garlic loaves or roosterkoek (braai breads), all braai’d on the open fire. And of course, there is the famous potato salad, often served with a three bean salad and a green salad.

Its become so popular in this country, that there are many recipe books written about the humble braai

Photo courtesy of extremelights

Most recently, there’s also a national braai tour in celebration of this South African tradition, illustrating its popularity amongst those living here. Traditionally the braai is centered around specifically meat, although for the health conscious, there are also delicious fish alternatives as well as some vegetarian alternatives.

The potjiepot or cast iron pots cooked on the braai are also hugely in demand. These would contain a stew of sorts, from meat to chicken to fish, with a sauce and vegetables, and sometimes with alcohol. This often requires a longer cooking time, so preparation and cooking would certainly take most of the day. There are also breads that can be baked in these pots, such as bacon beer bread or camembert bread.Festivities often begin early in the day, or the day before, as meat is bought and salads are prepared. On the day, the meat is prepared, mostly traditionally, by the men, being the ‘braaiers’, although some women are also known to be great braaiers! Traditionally, the men congregate around the braai, while the women gather and chatter, with the children running amongst them. All this is enjoyed while drinking, chatting and laughing together.For some inspirational recipes for this great day, checkout Justin Bonello: http://justinbonello.com/tag/braai/, Jan Braai: http://braai.com/ as well as http://www.food24.com/Recipes-and-Menus/Braai-day-recipes

Thanks Anais for the featured image.

Enjoy your holiday and long weekend!