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December 30, 2009

Add some cultural colour to your New Year with the Cape Minstrel Carnival

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A Cape minstrel, photo courtesy Clarissa de Wet

The Cape Minstrel Carnival – South Africa’s answer to the New Orleans Mardi Gras – runs from January 1-5 and is the perfect way to kick off 2010 with a multi-cultural bang.

Also known as the Kaapse Klopse or Tweede Nuwe Jaar (second New Year), the carnival sees more than 13 000 brightly dressed minstrels from the coloured community dance through Cape Town’s city centre, singing traditional songs and playing banjos.

The Cape Minstrel Carnival is made up of a number of events, starting with the night march by 50 Cape Malay choirs and bands through Cape Town. The route starts at Keizergracht, proceeds along Darling Street, goes into Adderley Street and Wale Street and turns left into Bree Street. The marathon procession will start at 22h00 on January 1 and end at 05h00 on January 2.

Not to be missed is the colourful march by the minstrel troupes on January 2, starting at 11h00 and ending at approximately 22h00. This event, involving about 66 minstrel troupes and bands, will take place along the same route as the choir march.

Don’t miss this spectacular display of a culture and spirit unique to the Mother City – it will be a New Year you’ll never forget.

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