During the Colonial times, the slaves used to have only one day for rest, which was the 2nd of January. This was the time when their masters relaxed and slept after the New Year's debauchery partying. At that time, this celebration included a lot of dancing and singing and can even be compared to the Rio De Janeiro carnival. Today it is still widely celebrated not only as a continuation of the New Year's celebration, but also as a day that marks liberation of the slaves. The bright colorful costumes and the amazing dances, combine for the appearance as if 50-60 theatrical shows are happening all at the same moment. Come join the plenitude of fun and color and never mind the huge amounts of people!
Music is an essential part of Kaapse Klopse since it is also often called a minstrel carnival. Over 10,000 musicians or minstrels take to the streets on that day, playing a variety of musical instruments. Many minstrels belong to certain klopse (which means clubs or bands in Kaapse Afrikaans). Klopse usually consist of Afrikaans-speaking working class families who have inherited this custom from their grandfathers.
Kaapse Klopse also features many festive competitions: for the best Christmas Choir, Cape Malay Choir and Cape minstrel choir. The music associated with Kaapse Klopse is very eclectic and original since it was influenced by many sources. The Cape of Good Hope received slaves from Madagascar and other areas of East Africa as well as from Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and India, which has left its influence on the music. The British and the Dutch 17th and 18th centuries marching processions have also made a considerable impact.