The Kaapse Klopse, also known as Tweede Nuwe jaar or Cape Town Minstrels Carnival, is a celebration unique to the city of Cape Town, South Africa. This minstrel festival commemorates Cape Town’s colonial history and creole culture. Every year on January 2, minstrels parade throughout the city, donning flamboyant costumes, colorful parasols, and painted faces.

Music and dance play an important part in celebrating freedom and self-expression at the Kaapse Klopse. You’ll find minstrels strumming banjos and guitars, beating Ghoema drums, and shaking maracas as they march by. What makes the Kaapse Klopse unique is that the minstrels sing, dance, and play their instruments in tune with Ghoema music, Cape Town’s unique sound that blends different music styles like jazz and reggae from all over Africa, Europe, and Asia.

The origins of this festival can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century when Dutch colonizers relieved their slaves of their duties and granted them a day off (on January 2) after New Year. Slaves used the opportunity to celebrate their own New Year by singing and dancing on the streets.

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#tweedenuwejaar !! The Tweede Nuwe Jaar Minstrel Parade has a new format, a new name and will be back in all its glory on the 2nd January 2018. In partnership with the City of Cape Town, The Cape Town Street Parade organisers have promised a world-class, inclusive event  for the people of Cape Town and for visitors to the Mother City. It builds on the long tradition and legacy of the Voorsmaakie and Tweede Nuwe Jaar, with the key aim of unifying the people of the #WesternCape, also involving the most vulnerable on the Cape Flats through opportunities for youth and cultural development and employment creation. Venue: Start at Keizersgracht St, CBD, #CapeTown, end at Rose St, Bo-Kaap, Cape Town Time: 12pm Cost: Free Facebook: Capetown Street Parade Twitter: CTstreetparade #ctstreetparade #eventscapetown #nye #2018 #getupandparty #goals #minstrels #kaapseklopse

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Today, the minstrels are often organized into groups or klopse (troupes) and compete against each other. The competition between the troupes are fierce as they fight for the different titles like ‘Best Band’, ‘Best Dress’, ‘Best Board’, and many other categories.

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January 2: The second day of New Year wishes (a holiday in Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, Scotland): Kaapse Klopse wishes to Cape Town, South Africa The Kaapse Klopse (or simply Klopse) is a minstrel festival that takes place annually on 2 January and it is also referred to as Tweede Nuwe jaar (Second New Year), in Cape Town, South Africa. As many as 13,000 minstrels take to the streets garbed in bright colours, either carrying colourful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments. The minstrels are self organised into klopse ("clubs" in Kaapse Afrikaans, but more accurately translated as troupes in English). Participants are typically from Afrikaans-speaking working class Cape coloured families who have preserved the custom since the mid-19th century. Kaapse Klopse wil Kaapstad, Suid-Afrika Die Kaapse Klopse (of net Klopse) is 'n minstrelfees wat jaarliks op 2 Januarie plaasvind en word ook genoem Tweede Nuwe jaar, in Kaapstad, Suid-Afrika. Soveel as 13.000 minstrels neem na die strate in helder kleure, in kleurvolle sambrele, of met 'n verskeidenheid musiekinstrumente. Die minstrels is self georganiseer in klopse ("klubs" in Kaapse Afrikaans, maar meer akkuraat vertaal as troepe in Engels). Kaapse Klopse o batla Cape Town, Afrika Boroa Kaapse Klopse (kapa feela Klopse) ke mokete oa lihlopha tse etsoang selemo le selemo ka la 2 Jwale 'me hape o bitsoa Tweede Nuwe Jaar (Selemo se Secha sa Sechaba), Cape Town, Afrika Boroa. Batho ba ka bang 13 000 ba tsamaeang ka maoto ba tsamaea literateng ba apere mebala e khanyang, ba nka likhele tse mebala-bala kapa ba bapala liletsa tse ngata tsa 'mino. Ba-minstrels ba ikakhetse ka setotsoana ka klopse ("li-clubs" ka Kaapse Afrikaans, empa ba fetoleloa ka ho nepahala joaloka litlhapi ka Senyesemane). #secondNewYearDay #Kazakhstan #Macedonia #Mauritius #Montenegro #NewZealand #Romania #Russia #Slovenia #Switzerland #Ukraine #Scotland #KaapseKlopsewishes #CapeTown #SouthAfrica #KaapseKlopse #Klopse #Kaapstad #TweedeNuwejaar #minstrels #Kaapse #Afrikaans #SuidAfrika #CapeMalayChoirs #Bushman #autonymiKung #CoonCarnival #Capetonians #Cap

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The Kaapse Klopse is a minstrel festival that takes place annually on 2 January and it is also referred to as Tweede Nuwe jaar. Minstrels take to the streets garbed in bright colours, playing an array of musical instruments. The minstrels are self organised into klopse ("clubs" in Kaapse Afrikaans, translated as troupes in English). Participants are typically from Afrikaans-speaking working class Cape coloured families who have preserved the custom since the mid-19th century. Tweede Nuwe Jaar (2nd New Year) is a day that is unique to Cape Town and stems from practices associated slavery and its history. In the mid- nineteenth century, the Cape slaves were given a day off from their duties on 2 January every year. During this alternate New Year celebration, the slaves would dress up as minstrels and dance rhythmically to the sounds of banjos, guitars, ghoema drums, whistles, trombones and tuba. #lovecapetown #kaapseklopse #meetsouthafrica #minstrels

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Despite being relatively unknown compared to the other carnivals of Rio or the Venice carnival, the Kaapse Klopse offers a unique sound and a colorful parade rich in Cape Town history and culture that you will never forget! So, grab your parasols, put your glitter on and jive to the music of this spectacular carnival.

Photo credit: saadiqua_sakieldien, portrait_encounters, zubairsay, seppek, debsbailey1965, eventcapetown, paul_d_smit, & deefuterman