7 September – Brazil’s Independence Day
We tell you when, from whom and how the country gained its independence
Every year on 7 September Brazil celebrates Independence Day – a bank holiday, which this year celebrates its 201st anniversary. It is an official non-working day throughout the country. In this material we tell you when and how Brazil gained its independence.
The country gained independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822. This process, known as the Great Brazilian Revolt or Brazilian Revolution, was led by Pedro, son of Portuguese King Joao VI, who temporarily moved to Brazil in 1808, avoiding war with Napoleon.
Sergey Skorokhodov, associate professor at the Department of Marketing and Sports Business at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, told TV BRICS that the events that led to Brazil’s independence began with the arrival of King Joao VI in Rio de Janeiro and the opening of the ports to international trade. This led to the economic and social development of Brazil, as well as the emergence of a national consciousness among the local population.
“At the time when the Portuguese king returned to Europe in 1821, he left his eldest son Pedro as ruler of Brazil. However, after the revolution in Portugal, opponents of Brazilian independence intended to come to the country to regain control of the colony. In response, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence on 7 September 1822. He became the first emperor of Brazil under the name Pedro I. This event in Brazilian history is known as Independence Day. The Brazilian empire lasted until 1889, when it became a republic,” said professor.
The expert also listed the traditional events and festive rituals that accompany Brazil’s Independence Day celebrations, which take place in all regions of the country.
1. Parades. The main event celebrating Independence Day is the official parades. They take place in the capital of Brazil, Brasilia, as well as in other major cities. Parades are often accompanied by military and school children, dances, and festival performances.
2. Musical performances. Concerts and musical performances are very popular during the celebration, featuring traditional Brazilian tunes such as samba, bossa nova and forro.
3. Flags and anthems. It is common to raise Brazilian flags and sing the national anthem during Independence Day celebrations. School children and citizens actively participate in this ritual, showing their love and devotion to the country.
4. Costumed performances. In some parts of Brazil, there are themed carnivals and costume shows where people dress up in outfits that reflect the culture and traditions of the country. This creates a festive atmosphere and allows the people of Brazil to relive an important historical moment.
5. Sporting events. Since football is Brazil’s national passion, Independence Day can include football matches and tournaments that bring people together through sport and patriotism.
6. Family gatherings: many families come together during Independence Day to celebrate the holiday with picnics, barbecues and other family activities. This is a great opportunity for families to come together and spend time together.
Sergey Skorokhodov noted that the colours of Brazil’s national flag – yellow and green – are often used in the decoration of streets and houses, creating a festive atmosphere. On the day of celebration, many people also wear national clothes and accessories with Brazilian symbols.
One of the most famous Independence Day traditions in Brazil is the Cry of Ipiranga*. In all schools across the country, students chant the “Ipiranga” (the name of Brazil’s anthem) and other patriotic slogans to celebrate the country’s freedom and independence.
Brazil’s Independence Day has great historical significance for the state and national identity – it symbolises the country’s liberation from colonial status and its transformation into an independent and sovereign nation. Moreover, as the expert notes, the process of the struggle for independence united the different regions of Brazil and Independence Day serves as a means to strengthen national consciousness and a sense of belonging to a single state.
The events surrounding the declaration of independence helped Brazil to assert itself as an independent power on the world stage. This allowed the country to develop its economy, politics and culture independently of colonial ties.
*On 7 September 1822, Prince Regent Don Pedro issued a cry on the Ipirangi River: “Independence or death!”. Where Sao Paulo spreads today, on the banks of the Ipiranga River, is where the Brazilian movement for Brazil’s independence from Portugal originated.