Latin America Celebrations of Independence Day

In the United States of America, people celebrate the “declaration” of Independence on July 4th. 1776; even though, it was seven years later, in 1783 at the Treaty of Paris. when Great Britain officially acknowledged the United States as a sovereign and independent nation.

In the same manner, countries in Latin America celebrate the day of the “declaration” of Independence in the 1800s,  and not the day when they officially became an independent and sovereign country.

How do people celebrate Independence day in Latin America?

It’s an official holiday, there are parades with the military branches, school bands, represented, folk dances, public concerts, community potlucks, political speeches, and fireworks at night. In addition, some countries have a special component that makes their celebration unique. i.e.

Torch of Independence

In 1959 five countries in Central America, started a new tradition of passing the “Independence Torch of Freedom” through Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica the torch is carried on foot from September 9th, until it reaches Costa Rica on September 15th.

In Costa Rica instead of the military parade, they have a “Faroles” Parade, where the children build glowing lanterns and decorate them with patriotic elements.

In Mexico City, at 11 pm, on September 15th, people gather at the Zocalo square, the President rings the Independence bell, and the crowd repeats after him saying: “Viva Hidalgo”, “Viva la Independencia”, “Viva Mexico”. After that there are firecrackers. This scene is repeated in every city square in the country, and in Mexican Consulates around the world.
A Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the church bell and gave a speech to incite his congregation using those famous words to fight for their independence on September 16th, 1810, leading them with the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe that he took from the church in the city of Dolores.

The parade is on the morning of September 16th,  including men and women charros, [traditional Mexican cowboys.] Mexico’s independence war lasted eleven years until the Spanish Viceroy Juan de O’Donojú signed the Treaty of Cordoba on August 24, 1821.


In Chile is also a two-day celebration honoring the military, and the parade includes ‘Huasos’, the traditional Chilean cowboys.

The countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay were part of the colony of Rio de la Plata.  Buenos Aires was its capital and on May 25th, 1910, the upper and middle-class in Buenos aires rebelled and declared independence from Spain. This was finally obtained on July 9, 1816. Their parade includes “Gauchos”, their traditional Argentinian cowboys.

Brazil. Interesting story. In 1807 Napoleon invaded Portugal, and Prince Regent John VI sailed to Brazil to establish the Portuguese Royal Court in Rio de Janeiro. In 1821 he returned to Portugal, leaving his son Pedro in Brazil. The court in Portugal demanded that Brazil will retain its status as a colony and that Pedro returned to Portugal. Pedro did not want to return to Portugal, so instead,  he declared Brazil an independent country.

Foods to celebrate Independence from Spain in Latin America.

Interesting history of the Mexican Charrería, an equestrian tradition in Mexico.
UNESCO: declared it  “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” – 2016 URL:…





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