Category Archives: National Holidays Info

17th August, Death of General Jose de San Martin

holidays-in-argentina250px-Smartin17augJosé Francisco de San Martín (25 February 1778 – 17 August 1850), known simply as José de San Martín (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse ðe san marˈtin]), was an Argentine general and the prime leader of the southern part of South America’s successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. Born in Yapeyú, Corrientes, in modern Argentina, he left his mother country at the early age of seven to study in Málaga, Spain.

In 1808, after taking part in the Peninsular War against France, San Martín contacted South American supporters of independence from Spain. In 1812, he set sail for Buenos Aires and offered his services to the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, present-day Argentina. After the Battle of San Lorenzo and time commanding the Army of the North during 1814, he organized a plan to defeat the Spanish forces that menaced the United Provinces from the north, using an alternative path to the Viceroyalty of Peru. This objective first involved the establishment of a new army, the Army of the Andes, in Cuyo Province, Argentina. From there, he led the Crossing of the Andes to Chile, and triumphed at the Battle of Chacabuco and the Battle of Maipú (1818), thus liberating Chile from royalist rule. Then he sailed to attack the Spanish stronghold of Lima, Peru.

On 12 July 1821, after seizing partial control of Lima, San Martín was appointed Protector of Peru, and Peruvian independence was officially declared on 28 July. On 22 July 1822, after a closed-door meeting with fellow libertador Simón Bolívar at Guayaquil, Ecuador, Bolívar took over the task of fully liberating Peru. San Martín unexpectedly left the country and resigned the command of his army, excluding himself from politics and the military, and moved to France in 1824. The details of the 22 July meeting would be a subject of debate by later historians.

San Martín is regarded as a national hero of Argentina and Peru, and, together with Bolívar, one of the liberators of Spanish South America. The Order of the Liberator General San Martín (Orden del Libertador General San Martín), created in his honor, is the highest decoration conferred by the Argentine government.

José de San Martín died on 17 August 1850, in his house at Boulogne-sur-Mer, France. He requested in his will to be taken to the cemetery without any funeral, and to be moved to Buenos Aires thereafter. Balcarce informed Rosas and the foreign minister Felipe Arana of San Martín’s death. Balcarce oversaw the embalming of his remains and their temporary stay in a chapel of the city. He also sent San Martin’s saber to Rosas.

However, the rebellion of Justo José de Urquiza against Rosas in 1851, Rosas’ defeat at the battle of Caseros and the resulting chaos delayed the move of San Martín’s remains to Buenos Aires. Still, both Rosas and Urquiza organized public homages to San Martín, despite the conflict. Buenos Aires seceded from Argentina as the state of Buenos Aires, dominated by Unitarians who despised San Martín. Thus, the move of his remains was postponed indefinitely. Aware that there were no favorable conditions for the project, Balcarce arranged a creation of a tomb in the Boulogne-sur-Mer cemetery.

San Martín’s remains were finally repatriated on 29 May 1880, during the presidency of Nicolás Avellaneda. The mausoleum was placed inside the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral. As San Martín was suspected of being a freemason, the mausoleum was placed in an expanded wing of the Cathedral.

9th of July, Argentina’s Independence Day

holidays-in-argentina9julyWhat today is commonly referred as the Independence of Argentina was declared on July 9, 1816 by the Congress of Tucumán. In reality, the congressmen that were assembled in Tucumán declared the independence of the United Provinces of South America, which is still today one of the legal names of the Argentine Republic. The Federal League Provinces,[1] at war with the United Provinces, were not allowed into the Congress. At the same time, several provinces from the Upper Peru that would later become part of present-day Bolivia, were represented at the Congress.

The 1810 May Revolution followed the deposition of the Spanish king Ferdinand VII by the Napoleonic French. The revolution ended the authority of the Viceroy Cisneros and replaced it with the Primera Junta.

When the Spanish monarchy resumed its functions in 1819, Spain was determined to recover control over its colonies in the Americas. Moreover, the royalists from Peru had been victorious at the battles of Sipe-Sipe, Huaqui, Vilcapugio and Ayohuma, in Upper Peru, and seriously threatened the United Provinces from the north.

On April 15, 1815, a revolution ended the mandate of Carlos María de Alvear as Supreme Director and demanded that a General Congress be summoned. Delegate deputies, each representing 14,000 inhabitants, were sent from all the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata to the sessions, which started on March 24, 1816. However, the Federal League Provinces did not send delegates: the Argentine littoral Provinces (Santa Fé, Entre Ríos, Corrientes and Misiones), and the Eastern Province (modern-day Uruguay).

June 20th, The day of the National Flag

holidays-in-argentina20juneThe Day of the National Flag (in Spanish, Día de la Bandera Nacional) is the holiday dedicated to the Argentine flag and to the commemoration of its creator, Manuel Belgrano. It is celebrated on June 20, the anniversary of Belgrano’s death in 1820. This date was designated in 1938.

The main seat of the Flag Day commemorations is the National Flag Memorial, in the city of Rosario in Santa Fe Province, where the flag was first hoisted on two artillery batteries in opposite banks of the Paraná River. The flag was created on 27 February 1812, but that date is not officially commemorated in any way. The celebration consists of a public meeting, speeches by the municipal and provincial authorities, the attendance of the President, and a parade including members of the military, veterans of the Falklands War, the police force, and a number of civilian organizations and associations.

Flag Day was created by law Nº 12,361, on June 8, 1938. Initially, it was a celebration held in a fixed day, but law Nº 24,445 modified it to be commemorated on the third Monday of the month. This design creates long weekends and boost tourism. Within the jurisdiction of Rosario, however, June 20 is always a non-working day for employees of the municipal and provincial administrations, and for all public and private schools. Hermes Binner made a project of law in 2006 to derogate this modification and restore both celebrations in fixed days, but the proposal expired because of not being treated by the Congress in a whole year. Nevertheless, Binner (governor of Santa Fe by then) and the mayor of Rosario, Miguel Lifschitz, insisted in the 2010 Flag Day that Congress should repeal the law and restore the commemoration to fixed days.

1st May, International Worker’s Day and 25 May, May Revolution

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1mayInternational Workers’ Day
 is a celebration of labour and the working classes that is promoted by international labour movementand that occurs on May 1 every year. That day, May 1, is also the traditional European Spring holiday of May Day. Therefore, May 1 is a national public holiday in more than 80 countries, but in only some of those countries is the public holiday officially known as Labor Day or some similar variant. In the other countries, the public holiday marks the Spring festival of May Day.

Further, still other countries celebrate a Labour Day unrelated to International Workers’ Day and on other dates significant to the labour movement in that country, such as the Labor Day in the United States which is on the first Monday of September.

May 1 was chosen as the date for International Workers’ Day by the Socialists and Communists of the Second International to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago that occurred on May 4, 1886.

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25mayThe May Revolution (Spanish: Revolución de Mayo) was a week-long series of events that took place from May 18 to 25, 1810, in Buenos Aires, capital of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata. This Spanish colony included roughly the territories of present-day Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. The result was the removal of Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisnerosand the establishment of a local government, the Primera Junta (First Junta), on May 25.

The May Revolution was a direct reaction to Spain’s Peninsular War. In 1808, King Ferdinand VII of Spain abdicated in favor ofNapoleon, who granted the throne to his brother, Joseph Bonaparte. A Supreme Central Junta led resistance to Joseph’s government and the French occupation of Spain, but eventually suffered a series of reversals that resulted in the Spanish loss of the northern half of the country. On February 1, 1810, French troops took Seville and gained control of most of Andalusia. The Supreme Junta retreated to Cadiz and dissolved itself, and the Council of Regency of Spain and the Indies replaced it. News of these events arrived in Buenos Aires on May 18, brought by British ships.

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