Cape Town Minstrel Carnival

Annual Festivals / Music Festivals in or near Cape Town Central, City Bowl in Cape Town, South Africa.

Events in Cape Town CentralCape Town Minstrel Carnival

Annual Festivals Music Festivals

Where? Cape Town City

When? 2 January 2017

Overnight? See Cape Town Central accommodation, in Western Cape

Kaapse klopse’ or Cape Town Minstrel Carnival: The city of Cape Town comes alive to celebrate new year in a raucous carnival the likes of which are not seen elsewhere in the world, unless you’re ready to compare it with the mardi gras in New Orleans and the carnevale in Rio de Janeiro, which it isn’t, not quite, although certainly it has its roots therein.

The Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, as it’s officially known, takes place every year at new year when thousands of musicians, singers, dancers and tailors connected to them, gear themselves for the traditional ‘Kaapse klopse’ or ‘Coon carnival’ (its more common name - although this isn’t a particularly politically correct term in the ‘new South Africa’).

The origin of the carnival stretches back to the 19th century and has its origins in the time of slavery in Cape Town, when the original citizens of District Six were allowed their one day off on January 1st. The event, which has developed a distinct Cape flavour, is also supposed to have ties to the minstrel entertainers who stopped off in Cape Town on huge American ocean liners, over 100 years ago.

Over ten thousand costumed, banjo-picking musicians and dancers, their faces painted white, as opposed to the original black-painted faces of the visiting minstrels, parade and march through the streets, followed by a series of dance, singing and costume competitions at Green Point Stadium.

With band names like ‘dixies’, ‘the district six band’, and songs like ‘take me to Mannenberg’, this is a celebration of life and new year, rather than a reflection on the days of slavery, for most of those involved are third or fourth generation, and the more garish the costume, and the more the banjo tunes can make your feet tap, the better.

Please Note

Event and festival details can change. All event information is published in good faith as supplied by the organisers. Please check with the organisers that the event is happening before making your travel arrangements.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in Cape Town Central

St Martini Gardens 435

Self Catering

St Martini Gardens 435

St Martini Gardens 435 is a two bedroom apartment found in the St Martini Gardens complex located across the road from ... more

Flatrock Suites

Hotel / Self Catering

Flatrock Suites

Flatrock Suites offers you the comfort and convenience of a hotel whilst at the same time affording you your own private ... more

Happy Rhino Hotel

Hotel / Self Catering

Happy Rhino Hotel

Happy Rhino Hotel offers lovely accommodation on a bed only basis in the heart of Cape Town City Centre. All units have a ... more

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited. has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. © 1999-2016. All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap