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Johannesburg sees a boom in organised social gatherings during the festive season, and a new festival, the Soweto Festival of Light, has proved successful.

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The second annual Soweto Festival of Light, held from 13 December to 21 December 2013, was a huge success, drawing thousands of visitors from across Johannesburg. The eight-day celebration invited Joburgers to the Mofolo South Nursery, on Elias Motsoaledi and Chris Hani roads in Mofolo South, between 16:00 and 21:00 each day, treating them to a range of entertainment.

The 2013 festival was dedicated to the life and memory of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected president. It offered thousands of visitors the opportunity to commemorate and pay tribute to the life and legacy of the former president by lighting candles and placing them in the Madiba Remembrance Garden. Mandela passed away peacefully on 5 December.

The event is held in partnership with Regina Mundi Church, the largest Catholic church in Soweto, which sheltered anti-apartheid activists.

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A puppet theatre, sandy beach and inflatable park area entertained the children, while adults enjoyed sponsored pampering sessions from hair and nail technicians.

The festival has become a must-attend experience on the Johannesburg social calendar and other than providing entertainment and time for family and friends to gather, it also supports the local community by creating job opportunities for local entertainers, performance artists, security personnel, cleaners, parking attendants and child-minders.

The festival proceeds also benefitted numerous charities dedicated to the care of the elderly, and underprivileged and orphaned children, of whom more than 200 received special Christmas tokens.