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Independence Day of Uruguay




When does Uruguay celebrate its Independence Day?
Located in South America, Uruguay or the Oriental Republic of Uruguay was assimilated into the Empire of Brazil by Portugal in 1816.The empire mainly consisted of present day Brazil and Uruguay. After decades of bitter battles and political negotiations, Uruguay became independent on August 25, 1825. Each year this day is observed as the Independence Day of Uruguay.

How do the people of Uruguay celebrate their Independence Day?
The people of Uruguay celebrate the Independence Day to mark the birth of their country in 1825. The day is an occasion to relive history, while moving forward.The celebrations on this day are marked by political speeches, music and dance performances.

What is the significance of Independence Day in the history of Uruguay?
The first European presence in Uruguay can be dated back to 1516, when the Spanish discovered the land. The resistance by the local tribes, and the absence of gold and silver limited European interest in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. By the late 17th and the early 18th century, the Spanish interest grew in the region. The Spanish founded the city of Montevideo (present day capital and chief port city of modern day Uruguay) in 1726 to prevent Portuguese expansion. Montevideo soon became a military stronghold, and a commercial center competing with Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital. Uruguay became a Spanish colony in 1777.

In 1811, under the leadership of Jose Gervasio Artigas, Uruguay launched a successful revolt against Spain. The Spanish surrendered in 1814. At the same time Artigas captured Montevideo for Uruguay. The victory, however, was short lived as the Portuguese launched an offensive in 1816 on this newly liberated territory then known as the Banda Oriental del Uruguay (Eastern Shore of Uruguay). Numerous revolts took place between 1821 and 1825 under the leadership of Juan Antonio Lavalleja. On August 25, 1825, the representatives of Banda Orientals, declared their independence. Thus, the sovereign state of Uruguay was born. The Independence Day is celebrated to honor the memory of this victory.

What does the flag of Uruguay represent?
The flag of Uruguay was adopted on December 16, 1828. This flag, however, had 17 stripes; the stripes were reduced to nine on July 11, 1830. The Uruguayan flag is one of the oldest flags in the world. The colors of the flag are influenced by the flag of Argentina, while design draws its inspiration from the United States flag.

The flag consists of nine equal sized horizontal stripes of alternating white and blue. The canton is white with a yellow sun bearing human face and 16 rays that are wavy or triangular. This emblem is known as the Sun of May, and it represents freedom. The nine stripes represent the original nine provinces that existed at the time the flag was adopted.

Who wrote the national anthem of Uruguay?
Orientales, la Patria o la Tumba, was officially declared as the national anthem of Uruguay on July 8, 1833. Francisco Acuna de Figueroa (also wrote the lyrics of national anthem of Paraguay) penned the lyrics of the anthem, and its music was composed by Francisco Jose Debali with collaboration from Fernando Quijano. The music was officially adopted as the music of the anthem on July 25, 1848.

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Last Updated On : August 25, 2015
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