Independence Day in Colombia

Columbian Independence Day is a holiday that’s observed annually on July 20th. As the name of this holiday suggests, it marks the country’s independence from Spain in 1810. Actually, it commemorates the uprising in Bogotá that’s usually seen as the catalyst for the beginning of the movement towards independence.

It would still take another 9 years from that uprising for Colombia to officially become independent from Spain. Regardless, this holiday is a public holiday that’s observed in Colombia with parades, military events, concerts, and even airshows. It’s also a day for people to spend time with their families and enjoy great Colombian food and good company.

The History of Colombian Independence Day

The Spanish arrived in Colombia at the end of the 15th century, and by 1510, they had established a permanent settlement. Resentment began to grow in these colonies under the reign of King Charles III. Spain established a rule that the colonies could only trade with them, and this limited economic growth in the country. This would eventually lead to a series of uprisings and military juntas that would end up overthrowing Spanish rule in Colombia.

On July 20th, 1810, an uprising began in Bogotá, and the Act of the Revolution was signed. Before this date, there were declarations of military governments and insurrection all across Colombia, so many saw it only as a matter of time before the same thing would happen in Bogotá.

The Criollos in the country decided to make a local businessman, José González Llorente, angry against them to incite the locals. On the morning of the 20th of July, they visited him to ask to borrow a flower vase. When he refused, and the vase was broken, it was the spark that was needed to ignite riots in Bogotá. It wouldn’t be until 1819, however, when the move towards independence was finally realized.

Observing Colombian Independence Day

This holiday is observed with political speeches, bands, concerts, parades, and other such events. People spend time with their friends and family members enjoying great Colombian food such as arepa e’huevo costeña, bandeja paisa, and fried fish with coconut rice.

Where is it celebrated?
Colombia (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
July 20 Saturday
Next year (2025)
July 20 Sunday
Last year (2023)
July 20 Thursday