Independence Day in Peru Date in the current year: July 28, 2024

Independence Day in Peru Independence Day is the most important public holiday in Peru. It is celebrated for two days, June 28 and 29, to commemorate the day when Peru declared its independence from the Spanish Empire.

Before the arrival of the Spanish, the territory of present-day Peru was home to several ancient civilizations, including the famous Inca Empire. In the 16th century, the region was conquered by the Spanish Empire. Most of of the Spanish-ruled territories in South America were part of the Viceroyalty of Peru governed from Lima.

In the beginning of the 19th century, most South American nations began to rebel against the Spanish rule, but Peru remained loyal to the Spanish Crown. The country achieved its independence thanks to Spanish-Argentine general José de San Martín. He invaded Peru, occupied the capital city of Lima and declared Peruvian independence on July 28, 1821. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Peru Independence Day.

The Independence Day celebrations in Peru officially last for two days, jointly referred to as the Fiestas Patrias peruanas (“Peruvian National Holidays”). On July 28, Peruvian’s celebrate the country’s independence, and on July 29, they honor the Armed Forces and the National Police of Peru. During the whole month of July, homes, public and private institutions, schools, office buildings and restaurants display the national flag, which is obligatory.

The celebration of Peru Independence Day begins at dawn on July 28, when 21 cannons salute the birth anniversary of Peru as an independent nation. The salute is followed by the Mass of Te Deum celebrated by the Archbishop of Lima.

Other morning events include the traditional Address to the Nation given by the President at the invitation of the Congress of the Republic of Peru. The representatives of the Congress go to the Government Palace to formally invite the head of state, who then travels to the seat of the legislature to deliver the speech. In the address, the President usually recounts the developments and accomplishments of the nation during the year. After the address, the President returns to the Government Palace for other official ceremonies. If a new President has been elected, he is also sworn in on this day.

Informal festivities typically include folk music and dancing in pretty march every plaza throughout Peru, open-air performances, traditional food and drinks, streets parties, exhibitions and fairs, parades, fireworks displays, and other festive events and activities.

The celebration of Independence Day continues on July 29. The highlight of the day is the Great Military Parade in Lima that involves all three branches of the Peruvian Armed Forces, as well as the National Police. The procession showcases every military institution and most of the country’s weaponry, although the key pieces are not demonstrated as a matter of the national defense policy. The parade used to be held right after the Te Deum Mass, but in 1939, it was moved to July 29 to formally mark the end of the festivities.

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