Colombian Independence Day

Quick Facts

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2024 DateJuly 20, 2024
2025 DateJuly 20, 2025

Colombian Independence Day

Colombian Independence Day in 2024
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Colombian Independence Day History

Colombian Independence Day, celebrated annually on July 20, is a vibrant national holiday that honours the birth of a nation's freedom. This significant day marks Colombia’s emancipated status from Spain, giving importance to their liberty and autonomy. Recognized nationwide with numerous festivities and events, it presents a captivating display of Colombian patriotism and cultural richness.

The foundation of this memorial day dates back to 1810. On July 20 of that year, an uprising in Bogotá triggered a series of events which culminated in the official declaration of Colombian independence in 1819, following a prolonged war. The revolt, known as the Florero de Llorente or Llorente Flower Vase incident, was the spark that ignited the move towards self-rule, eventually culminating in Spanish forces being pushed out.

Today, Colombian Independence Day is observed with high-spirited affairs that encompass traditional music, dance, parades, and fireworks. Colombians, both at home and abroad, adorn their localities and themselves in the national colours of yellow, blue, and red. A key highlight of the holiday is a military parade in Bogotá, which captivates spectators with stirring displays of national fighter jets and service personnel. Although a public holiday in Colombia, this expressive celebration of freedom and culture is shared worldwide on the 20th of July each year.

Colombian Independence Day facts

  • Hundreds of soldiers and police officers go to the streets to take part in the celebratory parades.
  • Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Colombia. In 2017, its national league was ranked 6th in the world.
  • Colombian player James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot award for most goals scored in the 2014 World Cup.
  • Colombia is the second most biodiverse country on the planet. More than half its territory is covered in forest. It contains around 10% of the flora and fauna on Earth.
  • The golden poison dart frog, one of the most toxic animals in the world, is only found in Colombia. A single frog has enough poison to kill 10 adult men.
  • Some of Colombia's most famous people are musicians Shakira, J Balvin, Maluma, and footballers James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao. Shakira is the most followed Colombian on Instagram, with 75.3 million followers as of June 22, 2022.

Top things to do for Colombian Independence Day

  • Prepare a traditional Colombian dish or beverage such as the bandeja paisa, the ajíaco, or the aguapanela.
  • Watch the 2015 documentary Colombia: Wild Magic about Colombia's rich wildlife.
  • Start a book by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, one of the most important authors of the 20th century. He won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1972 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. His most famous work is One Hundred Years of Solitude.

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