Part of the reason the celebrations for Nelson Mandela have been so grand, that the crowds have been so big, is the fact that just a few weeks ago it seemed difficult for many South Africans to even contemplate the anti-apartheid leader celebrating his 95th birthday.
There is a real party mood in Pretoria with perhaps 1,000 people outside the gates of Mandela's hospital for what is the world's biggest birthday celebration.
Winnie Mandela, Nelson's ex-wife, came to the gates of the hospital and she thanked people for their support, for the flowers and all the cards and she gave a very positive assessment of his health - an assessment reflected by many members of his family.
More top news
Hundreds of people scaled 20ft-high border fences to enter a tiny Spanish enclave from Morocco hoping to reach a better life in Europe.
Women may not be taking a common breast cancer drug due to the mistaken belief it causes nausea and vomiting, research suggests.
The two brothers were aged 10 and 11 when they tortured two boys in Edlington, south Yorkshire, in 2009 in a case that shocked Britain.