efe-epaCape Town

Hundreds of thousands of South African band members on Tuesday marched through the streets of Cape Town as part of “Second New Year” celebrations, as witnessed by an epa photojournalist on the scene.

Every year on Jan. 2, thousands of revelers dressed in colorful garb and equipped with a variety of musical instruments take to the city's streets to mark Second New Year, also known as “Kaapse Klopse,” as part of the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival.

The event dates back to the mid-19th century, when slaves in Cape Town _ who were given a day off from their duties on that date _ would dress up in costumes and dance to music.

Epa photos showed modern-day Cape Minstrels, many sporting brightly colored face paint, decorative hats and some brandishing umbrellas, taking part in the historic parade on Tuesday, while spectators gathered to catch a glimpse of the goings-on.

Many of the songs heard during Second New Year celebrations date back to the 1800s.