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The Hugenotefees (or Huguenot Festival) is the term used to refer to a number of events held over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries to commemorate the arrival of the French Huguenots[1] as settlers in the Cape Colony in 1688 and 1689.

The most often mentioned are the festivals of 1939 (250 years after their first arrival), 1948 , when the monument in Franschoek was inaugurated and 1988 (300 years after their arrival).

The festival of 1939

Originally planned for 1938, it finally took place in September 1939 and though obviously focused on Cape Town, and the towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and the Paarl, but a range of festivities also planned for various other cities and centres across the country. However, according to Coertzen, the start of the war in Europe obviously had a great impact, particularly in the northern provinces, preventing a number of festivities from actually taking place.

A number of commissioned plays were written for the occasion and performed in that year, including Hulle Sien die Kruis ("They see the Cross") by Fritz Steyn in Pretoria, Drakenstein by D.F. Malherbe in Bloemfontein, Dieu et mon Droit of Die Heilige Pand by A.C. Bouman in Franschoek.

The Festival of 1948

The Festival of 1988


P. Coertzen. 2011. The Huguenots of South Africa in documents and commemoration, Dutch Reformed Theological Journal. 52/3 & 4, September and December: pp. 301-324. [2]

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