Ancient Rome’s two-faced god lends his name to the month of January, the deity was also considered the father of new beginnings and had doorways erected in his honour.

From the time of the vernal equinox (Northern Hemisphere) celebrations in ancient Babylon, and the flooding of the Nile in Egypt, people have been getting lit on whatever they celebrated as New Year’s Eve. 

Julius Caesar is the guy we need to thank for commissioning the Julian calendar – the precursor to the Gregorian calendar – and proclaiming 1 January as the beginning of the year. Laurel decorations, gift exchanging and rowdy parties were the celebrations of the time, long before Auld Lang Syn.

You probably have your NYE plans sorted – no judgement if you’re dropping a million to dance the night away at Saints – but here are a few options for the less prepared, that won’t burn such a big hole in the Januworry budget. 

Cape Town

  • Mi Casa and Swing City is coming to the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts stage. This concert is  picnic-style, so bring a blanket and a basket – oh, and kids under six years old do not require concert tickets.
  • Come one, come all to the V&A Waterfront Carnival. This year, the Cape Town Carnival will be performing at the Waterfront from 7PM until midnight. Revel in the local performances at the Amphitheatre and stick around for the fireworks display over the harbour at midnight.   

 KwaZulu Natal

  • One of the biggest NYE events happens at the People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium. Scores of people gather at the stadium to enjoy South Africa’s top artists’ performances on a couple of stages and it climaxes with a fireworks display for the ages.
  • Summerdaze Paradise Beach promises to keep you dancing the night away with live entertainment, dance floors, lounges, bars, good food, and great music to bring you into 2023
  • You can make it a full family experience at the Sharks vs Bulls game. There will be a New Years Eve Party at the Kings Park with live music, kids’ entertainment, and more.


  • See the sky light up at Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown. There is usually a free annual family event with music, dancing, and entertainment where you can celebrate all the way through to the early hours of New Year’s Day. 
  • Or dress in all white (mandatory dress code) and put on your dancing shoes for a two dance floors and 14 DJs at Buddahfunk on Madison Avenue
  • Take in the arts at The Barnyard Theatre at the Emperor’s Palace at their retro style 90s Mania NYE party. It’s a celebration of the 90s (the best era – argue with a wall) and with a variety of bangers from pop, rock, alternative and the time lapses back into that decade.

Featured image: Wendy Wei/Pexels