Dazzling Full Moon Picnic beckons at Taalmonument

For those who missed the highly successful picnic in January, there is still a chance to catch your breath and take a closer look at the full moon during a glorious summer evening on the beautiful Paarl Mountain. One and all are thus invited to join the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument’s (ATM’s) friendly staff to celebrate this natural phenomenon on Friday, 18 February 2022.

In support of the Centre for Astronomical Heritage’s project to promote indigenous names for full moons in Southern Africa, this picnic is dedicated to the Dassie (rock hyrax), a native of Africa and the Middle East. It is an exceptional animal as it is the closest living relative of the much larger African elephant, and exceptional in the sense that its digestive tract contains an organ found only in birds and in no other mammal. It is a hardy and adaptable animal, which was also an important food source for the San and Khoi. The Nama even named a section of their year (corresponding roughly to March) after it, namely !hoaǂgais.

The picnics are very popular with local residents and tourists alike, who especially enjoy the sunsets and incredible night scenes. Guests can come anytime between 17:00 and 22:00, and have a look at the monument that is an exceptional, symbol-rich sculpture. Visitors are also encouraged to explore the gardens and temporary exhibitions; there are outdoor games and playgrounds for children.

Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnics and drinks (no glass) or to order picnic baskets in advance at the ATM Koffiehuis via 082 216 2510 or info@atmkoffiehuis.co.za – this coffee shop will also sell refreshments during the event. Dress warmly and bring a torch, and a mask. See www.taalmuseum.co.za/covid-19/ for the specific protocols.

Tickets are R40 per adult, R10 for SA students, R5 for children, and free for children under 6 years and holders of annual permits. They are available from Computicket or at the gate, and no booking is required. The evenings are held in aid of ‘Let’s Read!’, the Language Museum’s literacy project for children, and visitors are encouraged to donate a new or second-hand children’s book. The last Full Moon Picnic is on 18 March. More on the Centre for Astronomical Heritage at https://cfah.org.za.

For more information on all the other exciting events, concerts and courses at the Taalmonument, call 021 872 3441/863 0543, visit www.taalmonument.co.za or follow them on Facebook. The website also offers virtual tours of the monument and museum, information in six languages on the symbolism of the Taalmonument as well as many interesting articles on Afrikaans, multilingualism and the institution’s past, present and future. There are also many resources for school and research projects. THE LANGUAGE MONUMENT, LANGUAGE MUSEUM AND COFFEE SHOP ARE OPEN TO VISITORS. Annual permits are available at R120 for individuals or R220 per family, which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics.