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Kaapse Klopse Carnival
Cape Town, South Africa
The New Year in Cape Town brings the arrival of the Kaapse Klopse Minstrel Carnival which is held every year on the 2nd of January.
Beginning way back in the 19th century when slavery was in full force, the first day of the year was given to slaves as their only day off. The carnival follows in the tradition of the many minstrel entertainers who would disembark at Cape Town from huge American ocean liners over 100 years ago.
Thousands of people, most africans, paint their faces black and sing and dance while being entertained by the many banjo players and bands. The bright and garish costumes on display make the carnival a vibrant sight.
Competitions for the singing, dancing and costumes are held after the main procession at Green Point Stadium.
Today the parade through the streets is a celebration of life and freedom rather than to remember the sadness of oppression.
The locals, Capetonians, called it the Coon Carnival, local authorities have renamed the festival the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival.