History of Argentina's Independence Day

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The 9th of July each year sees the Argentine Independence Day - or Día de la Independencia. This marks the date that the Congress of Tucuman declared independence from the Spanish crown in 1816. The declaration was signed at a family home in Tucuman, an Argentine province, which has now been rebuilt and turned into a museum named the Casa Histórica de la Independencia.

Independence day, a national holiday, is celebrated all over the country, with speeches, parades and military demonstrations - it is also common for families to gather and celebrate together. Traditional meals such as Locro - a hearty stew made of corn, sweet potato, squash and meat - and Pastelitos - fried pastries which come with jellies or custard. Some families gather for an asado - a traditional Argentine barbeque. These are eaten in the afternoon, allowing for families to relax and celebrate long into the night.

Argentine Indepencence Day was an important event in the Argentine War of Independence - it began in 1810, after two failed British Invasions in 1806 and 1807 proved the people had what it took to revolt against the royalist troops. After Napoleon removed the Spanish king Ferdinand VII from power in 1808, the rebellion formed their own government, and the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1816 allowed the provinces to unite and eventually declare independence. The people of Argentina celebrate their freedom from Spanish rule each and every year.

After Independence was declared, the General Juan Martín de Pueyrredón was appointed Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, beginning a long and tumultuous time for the leaders of Argentina, which continued until 1983, including military coups, revolutions and dictatorships, ending finally with democratically elected presidency, which continues to this day.

There is actually another date which many mistake for Argentina’s independence day: the 25th of May, Dia de la Revolucion de Mayo, which was the day of the 1810 May Revolution, which began the long process of war and eventually, independence. This date is also celebrated as a national holiday, and is celebrated with parades and street parties.

We hope that you have learned something reading this journal entry, and that you may celebrate Argentine Independence Day next time it comes around.

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