Adekunle Owolabi
3 minute read
18 Sep 2017
5:18 pm

Start your fire early ahead of National Braai Day

Adekunle Owolabi

As the culmination of the working week or the start of the weekend, the braai is as much a stress reliever as it is a way to connect with friends and neighbours.

Picture: iStock

South Africa’s greatest day of celebration, National Braai Day, gets off to an early start in 2017 with the addition of National Braai Night to the braai festivities. National Braai Night is the nation’s opportunity to get into the Braai Day groove with a festival of flames the evening ahead of the main event.

Jan Braai, the man behind the National Braai Day initiative, one of the most successful nation-building campaigns of the past decade, says that National Braai Night is the perfect way to warm up for the greatest day on the South African calendar.

“National Braai Night is an extension of the biggest celebration in South Africa,” says Braai. “For more than 10 years, National Braai Day has brought South Africans together like no other public holiday in the country, and we hope to build on that trend with National Braai Night. Getting 50 million people to unite around a fire is the ultimate aim of National Braai Day, and I see Braai Night as another way to grow the celebration and make this happen.”

South Africans already love to braai, of that there is no doubt; getting together for an evening braai the day before a public holiday is the perfect excuse to celebrate this iconic South African pastime.

No other country in the world does festive gatherings quite like South Africans around a fire; the braai flame, the braai circle and the braai talk at the atmosfire are essential parts of South African life. As the culmination of the working week or the start of the weekend, the braai is as much a stress reliever as it is a way to connect with friends and neighbours in a uniquely South African way.

“I know people look forward to National Braai Day. Now there is simply more to look forward to as we are asking for all South Africans to party the night away on National Braai Night,” says Braai.

“As we all know, South Africa is a wonderfully diverse country, but the braai brings us all together. Braaing is fun, relaxing, social and the perfect excuse to lazily while away the day with family.

“In the years to come, I can see Braai Night and Braai Day combine perfectly; Braai Night lends itself to a more robust, energetic party braai, while National Braai Day is the ideal way to spend time with loved ones. To use familiar examples, similar to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day or New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.”

In the true spirit of the inclusiveness of National Braai Day, all South Africans are welcome at National Braai Night – because Braai Night is wherever you light your fire. There is no single event, wherever you are having a great time with friends around a fire, that’s where the event is!

Jan Braai calls on bars, restaurants and other similar establishments to light up the night with braais, while keen braaiers at home simply need to light the fire for a night of nation building.

“Let’s have some fun,” says Braai. “There are constantly serious issues on the agenda in South Africa, but National Braai Night is about letting rip and celebrating South Africa in a way that speaks to the heart of every South African.”