Latin American Independence Day Celebrations
How Latin American Countries Celebrate their Independence
United States’ Independence Day is probably the most famous of all independence day celebrations around the world. However, the 4th of July is not the only significant date on the American calendar. The American continent is comprised of 35 sovereign states from north to south, each one carrying its own historical baggage.
After centuries of conquests and reconquests, the Americas is now a continent whose distinctive feature is diversity. Each year, millions of Latin Americans celebrate their history and culture the day their countries achieved independence. Would you like to learn more about Independence days in Latin America? Have you ever wondered how Latin American Independence Days are celebrated?
Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras - 15 September
Did you know… these countries celebrate their independence the same day? Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras joined forces to achieve independence from the Spanish empire collectively. Officially, celebrations start on September 9 with a flaming torch carried from Guatemala to Costa Rica by foot.
Little ones play an important role during these festivities: they stroll the streets of their town carrying flags and lanterns they had previously decorated at school whilst they sing their country’s national anthem and other patriotic songs.
Although the official day is 15th September, each country lead time is different, with countries like Nicaragua celebrating for two weeks in September and others like El Salvador with festivities kicking off early in the morning on the 15th September.
Filling the streets of Central America with blue, white and red, these sister nations’ independence day celebrations include live music, folk dancers, military parades and tons of delicious local food!
Folk dancers and video mapping projections are two of the main entertainment options that can be seen in the streets of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras throughout Independence day celebrations
Mexico - 16 September
Did you know… Similar celebrations take place throughout the country and in consulates and embassies around the world, where chief executives, ambassadors and consuls follow the same recital, wave the Mexican flag and finish their speech with the threefold shout ‘Viva Mexico!’ (long live Mexico).
Cuba - 10 October
There are a few important dates linked to the Cuban independence, but the official one is October 10th, which is the date when the Independence war began back in 1868. However, the Caribbean island didn’t become an independent republic until 20 May 1902.
Did you know… That unlike other Latin American countries, Cuba’s big national celebrations are not linked to their independence but to Labour Day (May 1) and the Carnival (months of July and August)? Especially noteworthy are La Habana and Santiago de Cuba carnivals.
Labour Day and the Cuban Carnival prompt people out of their homes and gather around in plazas and in the street to enjoy the different entertainment activities and parades. Whilst little ones are entertained by clowns, magicians or workshops, grown-ups can immerse themselves in a festive atmosphere characterised by traditional Cuban dances, colourful costumes, delicious local foods and other expressions of the island’s folklore.
Unlike other Latin American countries, Cuba’s big national celebrations are Labour Day and the Carnival. Different expressions of the island’s folklore such as cigar rollers and traditional Cuban dancers are among people’s favourite entertainment options
Brazil - 7 September
Every 7th of September, Brazil celebrates their independence from Portugal with large civil-military parades that take place all over the country. During this festivity, both children and adults fill the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia or Sao Paolo with Brazilian flags and together recall the day when King Peter I announced the country’s independence.
Did you know… that, unlike other Latin American territories, Brazil’s independence was not the result of war? The main reason was the weakening of Portugal after the Napoleonic Wars, which forced the Portuguese Royal Family to go into exile and become self-proclaimed monarchs of Brazil. After 67 of monarchy, Brazil finally became a republic in 1889.
Well-known worldwide for their unique and vibrant way to celebrate, Brazilians also take their Independence Day as an opportunity to gather in the streets. The above-mentioned parades include tons of acrobatics, marching bands performing the national anthem and a spectacular air show with military planes drawing different shapes in the sky.
Argentina - 9 July
Argentina celebrates its independence on 9 July with various official events taking place in Buenos Aires and throughout the country. In recent years, the country’s independence day has become an opportunity to showcase Argentina’s cultural diversity from north to south.
Did you know… The country announced its independence in 1816 but Spain didn’t recognise this until 1863? You might also be surprised to know the territory that emancipated was also comprised by Uruguay and Paraguay, which in turn also got their independence from Argentina in 1828 and 1842 respectively.
As in many other Latin American territories, official events and parades are attended by the country’s prime minister. Waving white and blue flags whilst they enjoy different dance performances, activities and food, Argentinians celebrate drinking mate, enjoying alfajores, and watching both traditional and fusion tango shows!
Colombia - 20 July
Did you know… before achieving independence and establishing as an independent nation, Colombia was part of a larger territory known as Great Colombia, which was formed by territories of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Panama (and also smaller parts of Peru, Guyana and Brazil). It was the most prestigious country in Spanish America and, with the exception of Panama, the countries created after its dissolution have similar flags.
Every 20 July, Colombians take the streets to celebrate the anniversary of their independence and enjoy the military parades, concerts and various cultural activities that take place throughout the country. A nation boasting a wide range of roots, Colombia loves celebrating with live music and dance: from Cumbia to Mapale, folk dancers fill the streets of Bogota, Cartagena or Medellin with gorgeous traditional costumes and sombreros vueltiaos (vueltiao hats, an iconic Colombian accessory).
Modern rhythms also have a place in this celebration. Proud of their musical heritage, bands love fusing Cumbia and other Latin beats with electronic music. Of course, this day wouldn’t be complete without delicious dishes and drinks such as bandeja paisa or aguardiente.
Colombians love celebrating with traditional music and folk dances such as Cumbia or Mapale. Cover bands also love Cumbia and Latin sounds, which they blend with electronic music so everyone can enjoy and dance to their favourite tunes on Independence Day
Book Entertainment for Latin American Independence Days
Whether you’re celebrating your country’s Independence Day in Latin America or abroad, we have the perfect entertainment solution for you. From national anthem singers to folk dancers and other cultural acts and activities, there is a broad range of cultural experiences to choose from.
For further entertainment ideas with a Latin flavour, get in touch with us and share what you have in mind.