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New Year's Day 2011 - Klopse Cape Town - Cape Minstrel's Carnival

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Uploaded on Jan 3, 2011

The Cape Minstrel Carnival or Kaapse Klopse is Cape Town's longest-running street party -- and the festivities last for the entire month of January.

New Year always arrives with a big bang in the Mother City, but it's not until January 1 that the real party gets started. The event, known as Tweede Nuwe Jaar (second New Year), is when minstrels dance through the city centre singing traditional songs and playing banjos and traditional ghoema drums made out of wine barrels.

More than 13 000 brightly dressed minstrels adorned in sequins and glitter with flags and umbrellas are a sight to behold. The event was originally known as the Kaapse Klopse and originated in the 1800s when Malay slaves celebrated the one and only day in the year that they had off work.

The carnival was inspired by a group of African-American minstrels who docked in Cape Town in the late 1800s and entertained the sailors with their spontaneous musical performances.

The minstrel street parade starts in District Six and makes its way through the city centre. During the month of January various mini-festivals take place over the weekends in the City Centre, Bo-Kaap and Green Point.

The song and dance troupes take the event very seriously and there are prizes for the most flamboyant performance, the best-dressed troupe, the best overall singer and the best band. Participants range in age from babies to senior citizens.

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