Today the country of South Africa celebrated its annual Heritage Day, a national holiday to honor the diverse cultures of the nations’ people.

Every 24th of September, South Africans may wear traditional garb, gather to commemorate history, barbecue (braai), host special performances, or celebrate with family and friends.

In the midst of major demographic shifts in the country, concerns about the economy and recent unrest targeting immigrants, this year’s celebration carried even more significance.

“South Africans overcame apartheid together,” said Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance. Apartheid was not about fighting a race, it was about fighting a system that excluded so many people.”

theGrio was on the ground in Johannesburg and the township of Soweto to capture some of the festivities, as well as the Joy of Jazz celebration featuring acclaimed African-American trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, who performed a special concert for South African youth.

Check out the highlights above and stay tuned for more #MeetSouthAfrica travel content.