DAY OF GOODWILL
Each year on December 26th, South Africa celebrates the Day of Goodwill. The day has become a day to recover from the indulgences of Christmas festivities. People are also encouraged to give back to society following the Christmas holiday.
When someone has goodwill toward another person they act in a compassionate and friendly manner. Goodwill is acting out of compassion instead of our selfish human nature. It’s also putting the needs of others before ourselves. On the Day of Goodwill, South Africans distinguish between their needs and their wants. They give to others with an attitude of love and charity. What this day isn’t is a cleanup day after Christmas.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DayOfGoodwill
Many people take advantage of an extra day off by relaxing or going to the beach. During the evening, it’s common to host a small party or dinner gathering. To truly observe this day however, South Africans are strongly encouraged to think about others.
Some of the ways to participate in this day include:
- Box up everything you don’t need and give it away
- Make a donation to a charity that helps the poor
- Give away leftover food
- Host a meal for the poor or homeless
- Give back to society by volunteering with a local organization
- Think about the word goodwill and how you can apply it to your life
No matter how you choose to celebrate this day, share it on social media with #DayOfGoodwill.
DAY OF GOODWILL HISTORY
The first Dutchmen arrived in South Africa in 1652. Shortly after, the country become a Dutch colony. South Africa remained under Dutch rule until 1795. The country fell to the British crown and then back to Dutch rule in 1803. Three years later, colonization of the country went back to the British. Throughout the years, South Africa would be subject to many conflicts between the Dutch and the British.
In 1910, the British created the Union of South Africa. In doing so, the British gave the country some independence. It wasn’t until 1961 that South Africa declared itself a Republic and left the Commonwealth. In 1994, Nelson Mandela became president. That same year, the new government replaced Boxing Day with the Day of Goodwill. They did this to sever ties with the country’s colonial past.