Army Day in Guatemala

Army Day is a national holiday observed on June 30th each year in Guatemala. If that day falls on a weekend during a particular year, however, it is quite likely that the holiday may be moved to the following Monday.

The name of this holiday alludes to the fact that this day is a celebration of the armed forces of this Central American country. It was a holiday previously known as Revolution Day but was re-imagined as a day to celebrate the military that serves to protect the country created after the revolt in 1871.

The History of Army Day in Guatemala

From 1864 through 1871, Guatemala was under the rule of dictator Vicente Cerna. Under his rule, liberal party members were persecuted, which would lead to the Liberal Revolution—a revolution that began as a revolt in Guatemala City on June 30th, 1871. After the dictator was deposed, an effort began to modernize the military forces. This holiday was originally called Revolution Day, but its name was eventually changed to Army Day to commemorate the armed forces.

Observing Army Day in Guatemala

This holiday is observed with military parades, events that commemorate the military, and the awarding of medals to distinguished members of the armed forces. The flag of Guatemala, as well as the flags of the armed forces, are also prominently displayed on this holiday. There are also special competitions held on this day by the military, including tournaments and obstacle courses.

However, it should also be mentioned that this holiday is not without its controversy. During the 21st century, there have been Guatemalan activists calling for an end to Army Day celebrations. Instead, they have called for a March for Remembrance that honors the thousands of civilians who were killed by military leadership from 1960 through 1996.

Where is it celebrated?
Guatemala (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 30 Sunday
Next year (2025)
June 30 Monday
Last year (2023)
June 30 Friday