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The Independence Day of Brazil: History & Celebrations

Did you know that Brazil is the only country in the Americas that uses Portuguese as its national language? This is because, for nearly three-hundred years, Portugal colonized Brazil. In 1822, freedom and independence finally became a realistic goal for Brazil, and as you can imagine, Brazil’s Independence Day is the country’s most important holiday.

How did Brazil gain its independence after so long a colonial period? In this article, you’ll learn about the history behind the Brazil Day of Independence, as well as Brazil Independence Day celebrations.

At PortuguesePod101.com, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative. So let’s get started!

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1. What is Brazil’s Independence Day?

Brazil was a colony of Portugal for 285 years. However, when Napoleon invaded Portugal in 1815, the Portuguese court was forced to move to Rio de Janeiro, thus creating the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarve.

The Portuguese Court remained in Brazil until 1820, when the Liberal Revolution of Porto in Portugal forced King John to return to Europe. The Portuguese Government sought to make Brazil a colony once again, but the country was never to return to its former colonial status.

In 1822, a Court Order was issued to Pedro de Alcântara, prince regent of Brazil, for his return to Portugal. However, Pedro was petitioned to stay by the Brazilian people and decided accordingly to remain in Brazil. The day of his decision became known as the Dia do Fico (I’ll Stay Day), marking the first step toward the country’s independence.

Seeing that independence was inevitable, on September 7, 1822, after receiving a letter from his father demanding his return to Portugal, Pedro declared Brazil’s independence on the banks of the Ipiranga River with the famous words “Independence or Death!”

2. When is the Independence Day of Brazil?

Independence Day on September 7

Each year, Brazil celebrates its Independence Day on September 7.

3. Brazil Independence Day Celebrations

This holiday is also known as the Homeland Day or Seventh of September Day.

On Independence Day, Brazil celebrations throughout the country include civilian-military patriotic parades in all the city centers. Various public and military colleges participate in these parades.

The most famous of these celebrations is that of Brasília, held at the Esplanade of the Ministries, in the presence of the President of the Republic. In general, this event gains an audience of about fifty-thousand people.

And for Brazilians outside Brazil? The Brazilian Day is also celebrated worldwide, usually during the month of September, as an event to commemorate the independence of Brazil, accompanied by much Brazilian music and food.

4. How Did Brazil Get its Name?

A Marching Band

Do you know where the name of Brazil comes from?

It comes from the name of a tree called Brazilwood that is native to the Atlantic Forest. Its wood is reddish in color and used to be used for dyeing textiles, but today this tree is under risk of extinction.

5. Vocabulary to Know for Brazil’s Independence Day

Brazil's Flag on Map of Brazil

Here’s some vocabulary you need to know for Brazil’s Independence Day!

  • Dia da independência — “Independence Day”
  • Dia da independência do Brasil — “Independence Day of Brazil”
  • Banda — “Band”
  • Desfile — “Parade”
  • Sete de setembro — “September 7″
  • Discurso do presidente — “president’s speech”
  • Semana da Pátria — “Motherland Week”
  • Pátria — “Motherland”
  • Independência ou Morte! — “Independence or Death!”
  • Independência — “Independence”
  • Hastear a bandeira — “Hoist the flag”
  • Hino da Independência do Brasil — “Independence Anthem

To hear each of these Portuguese vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Independence Day of Brazil vocabulary list!

How PortuguesePod101 Can Help You Learn About Brazilian Culture

We hope you enjoyed learning about Brazil’s Independence Day with us! To make sure you were paying attention, answer this question in the comments: When did Brazil gain independence, and how?

Also feel free to share about the national day in your own country; we always love hearing from you!

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