Jose Artigas Birthday Memorial

José Artigas’ Birthday Memorial is observed on June 19th every year in the Oriental Republic of Uruguay in southeastern South America. This holiday commemorates the birth of this man—a man who is commonly known as the father of Uruguayan nationhood. José Artigas was born on June 19th, 1764.

Although this holiday is widely observed, it is not a public holiday. Most people will have to work on this day (according to their normal schedule), and businesses are open as usual, but government offices may close for the day. This is a day that is celebrated with parades, birthday celebrations, and other events all across Uruguay.

The History of José Artigas’ Birthday Memorial in Uruguay

On June 19th, 1764, José Gervasio Artigas was born to a well-to-do Montevideo family. He would work on his father’s farm when he was young, and it was there where he learned about gauchos and their way of life. Unfortunately, he became involved in cattle smuggling, and there was even a time when authorities were looking to throw him in jail.

After the start of the Anglo-Spanish War, he was given a pardon on the condition that he serve in the army. He signed up and helped to organize the gauchos to wage a guerrilla war against the British. In the independence movement against Spain, he would use his skills to command Uruguayan patriots.

Artigas would participate in the siege of Montevideo, and his troops would come to control large parts of Argentina and Uruguay. When the Portuguese invaded Uruguay, he faced the real possibility of defeat.

That defeat would happen four years later. This resulted in Artigas living in exile in Paraguay. In 1828, Uruguay declared independence. Artigas was asked to return but he declined the invitation. He would end up dying in Asunción in 1850.

Interesting Facts About Uruguay

We wanted to provide our readers with some interesting facts about Uruguay, so we completed some research and organized what we uncovered in an easy-to-read bulleted list of facts below.

  • Uruguay is home to approximately 3.74 million people.
  • This country is the second smallest country in South America.
  • To overhaul the country’s education system, Uruguay provided every school-age child with a laptop.
  • Uruguay has been ranked as Latin America’s least corrupt nation.

Observing José Artigas’ Birthday Memorial in Uruguay

This holiday is observed with some public exhibitions, political speeches, and other events. Since it is still a working day, many people will have to work their normal working schedule. Those who do not have to work can use the day to spend time with loved ones. The hashtag #JoseArtigasBirthday can be used on social media to spread the word about this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Uruguay (Bank holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
June 19 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
June 19 Thursday
Last year (2023)
June 19 Monday