November 15 is Republic Day in Brazil. We’ll describe the history of this day as well as explore how Brazilians celebrate it.
This public holiday is observed annually on the 15th of November, commemorating the end of the Empire of Brazil. It also celebrates the proclamation of Brazil as a republic on November 15, 1889, which created the Federal Republic of Brazil. Not only does it mark the anniversary of a new regime created by Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca, it honors the freedom from slavery. Da Fonseca overthrew Dom Pedro II by military coup in 1889, freeing his people and providing equal opportunity for all citizens. November 15th is a proud day in the Brazilian government and indeed throughout the whole country.
A Little History
In 1822, the Prince Regent of Portugal proclaimed that he was Emperor of Brazil in an effort to declare independence from Portugal and establish the independent Empire of Brazil. His name was Dom Pedro I. In 1831, his son Pedro II took over control, despite the fact that he was then just five years old.
A coup d’etat took him off his throne on November 15, 1889 amidst a volatile time warring with Paraguay and taking heat from the upper classes over the abolition of slavery the year prior. Field Marshal Deodoro da Fonseca then established the federal republic. The time was ripe for the formation of a republic due to economic uncertainty, distrust of the Empire and calls to get rid of slavery.
Background on Brazil
Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth largest in the world. It sits between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean, bordering all South American countries except Ecuador and Chile. As Europe expanded into the new world, Portugal colonized Brazil, which is why it is the only Portuguese-speaking country in the Central, South and North Americas. Additionally, the highest concentration of Roman Catholics around the globe can be found here.
A Day to Celebrate
Considered a national holiday, most people have this day off. The Brazil National flag can be seen flying proudly throughout Brazil, with celebrations marked by festive parades in the streets. Many public figures and politicians make speeches and hold meetings to mark this day as well. This day marks not only an important event in history but the continued advancement of equal employment opportunity and indeed equality in general. Work still has to be done on this front but this day represents hope.