Battle of Junín Day in Peru Date in the current year: August 6, 2024

Battle of Junín Day in Peru Battle of Junín Day is a Peruvian public holiday celebrated annually on August 6. It commemorates one of the most important battles of the Peruvian War of Independence, compared by some historians to the Battle of Boyacá in Colombia in terms of historic significance.

The Peruvian War of Independence was a string of conflicts that lasted for seventeen years. It was launched in 1809 by junta movements in the Viceroyalties of Peru and the Río de la Plata. Between 1811 and 1820, a number of armed rebellions took place but were relatively easily quelled by the Spanish colonial authorities.

The next stage of the Peruvian War of Independence began thanks to General José de San Martín, a former officer of the Spanish army who played an important role in the Spanish American wars of independence. He fought for the independence of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (present-day Argentina), but his vision of Argentine independence included the defeat of the royalists in Chile and Peru.

The independence of Chile was formally proclaimed in February 1818, and General San Martín became determined to lead Peru to its independence. The United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and Chile created the Liberation Expedition of Peru to defeat the royalist stronghold in Peru. The expedition set sail from Valparaiso in August 1820, and hostilities between the revolutionaries and the royalists began in October of the same year.

José de San Martín formally proclaimed the independence of Peru on July 28, 1821, but the fight for independence wasn’t over. Several months later, San Martín had a disagreement with another independence leader, Simón Bolívar. San Martín envisioned Peru as a constitutional monarchy, while Bolívar wanted it to become a republic. As a result of the disagreement, San Martín abandoned Peru, leaving Bolívar in charge of the independence movement.

It was Bolívar who consolidated the independence of Peru through a series of military victories against the royalists, including the victory in the Battle of Junín. In February 1824, the Spanish regained control of Lima, and Bolívar regrouped his troops and led them south to confront the royalist forces.

The United Liberation Army of Peru led by Simón Bolívar and the Spanish troops under the command of General José de Canterac met in the Junín Region on August 6, 1824. The Battle of Junín was a cavalry battle that involved no firearms, only hand-to-hand combat with lance and saber. It lasted for 45 minutes and resulted in a major win for the patriots that paved the way for their ultimate victory on December 9, 1824.

In July 2022, the Congress of the Republic of Peru added the anniversary of the Battle of Junín to the list of the country’s public holidays in order to highlight the historical and political significance of the Battle of Junín. The Ministries of Education, Culture and Defense were tasked with organizing official activities commemorating the battle and its contribution to the achievement of Peruvian independence.

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