Indian Day in Brazil Date in the current year: April 19, 2017

Indian Day in Brazil Indian Day (Dia do Índio) is an official holiday in Brazil that recognizes and honors the indigenous peoples of Brazil. It was officially declared by President Getúlio Vargas in 1943. The holiday is observed annually on April 19.

The indigenous peoples of Brazil are referred to as Native Brazilians or Brazilian Indians. They have inhabited the territory of Brazil since prior to the European invasion. Although the Portuguese had already known that South America was not India when they first reached the Brazilian shore, they continued to use the word “Indians” (índios) to designate the people of the New World.

Native Brazilians constitute about 0.4% of the country's population; in the 2010 census, 817,000 Brazilians classified themselves as indigenous. Besides, Brazil has over 60 uncontacted tribes, whose exact numbers are unknown.

Indian Day was established to celebrate the anniversary of the First Inter-American Indian Congress that opened in Mexico on April 19, 1940. It is mostly celebrated in the states with a relatively large indigenous population. For example, the municipality of Bertioga, São Paulo hosts the National Indian Festival that is considered the world's largest indigenous cultural event.

The main goal of Indian Day is to give Brazilians an opportunity to learn about culture and traditions of Brazilian indigenous people and raise awareness of uncontacted peoples.

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Category

Cultural Observances

Country

Brazil

Tags

Indian Day in Brazil, Dia do Índio, cultural observances, holidays in Brazil