Beginning Of The War Of Independence

Celebrated every year in Cuba on October 10th, the day known as The Beginning of the War of Independence is a popular holiday in the country. Also known as Cuban Independence Day or Día de la Independencia in Spanish, this holiday commemorates the beginning of the Ten Years’ War—a conflict that lasted from October 10, 1868, to May 28, 1878, and resulted in Cuba’s independence from Spain.

Because this is a public holiday in Cuba, many non-essential government offices, schools, and businesses are closed, and it’s a day off for the general population.

The History of The Beginning of the War of Independence

During the Peninsular Wars of the 19th century, Napoleon’s brother Joseph became King of Spain. Because many of the Spanish colonies located in South and Central America didn’t feel a connection to this new regime, a movement for independence was ignited—a spark that would eventually spread to Cuba.

Although Cuba remained loyal to Spain initially, enthusiasm for independence began to grow, and there was increasing resentment against Spain’s administration—an administration that many people felt was weak, repressive, and corrupt.

The wealthy sugar mill owner, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, and his followers declared their independence from the corrupt Spanish administration on October 10, 1868. This act ignited the Ten Years’ War. As the name of this war implies, it lasted for approximately ten years until May 28, 1878, when the Spanish surrendered. However, full independence from Spain did not arrive immediately, and it would be another 30 years before Cuba gained its independence.

Observing The Beginning of the War of Independence

This holiday is observed with parades, festivals, fireworks, music, and dancing. It’s a day off for the general population as well, so people spend time with loved ones, break bread with friends and family, and enjoy the day off.

Where is it celebrated?
Cuba (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
October 10 Thursday
Next year (2025)
October 10 Friday
Last year (2023)
October 10 Tuesday