José Martí´s Birthday Memorial

In Cuba, January 28th is observed as Jose Martí’s Birthday Memorial. This holiday commemorates the life of a person many Cubans call the Apostle of the Cuban Revolution on the anniversary of his birth in 1853.

Although this revolutionary writer and politician spent much of his life abroad after being exiled from Cuba in 1871, he returned to his country in 1895 to fight for the country’s independence. Now, the date of his birth is a widely observed holiday in Cuba, although it’s not a public holiday and therefore is not a day off for most people.

The History of Jose Martí’s Birthday Memorial in Cuba

On January 28th, 1853, José Julián Martí Pérez was born at 41 Paula Street in Havana, Cuba. His parents were Mariano Martí Navarro and Leonor Pérez Cabrera. In 1865, he enrolled in the Escuela de Instrucción Primaria Superior Municipal de Varones and the following year in the Instituto de Segunda Enseñanza.

During the 1868 Ten Years’ War, he joined the Cuban Nationalist movement that was beginning to gain momentum at the time in Cuba. He began writing about his desire for independence from Spain and wrote several poems during this time. He came to resent the Spanish rule of Cuba, and especially the practice of slavery, which was still being practiced.

José Martí was killed at the Battle of Dos Ríos in a battle against Spanish troops on May 19th, 1895. His dedication to the cause of Cuban independence made him a hero to average Cubans and a symbol of unity. It’s the reason why there are so many memorials and tributes named after him.

Observing Jose Martí’s Birthday Memorial in Cuba

Although this isn’t a public holiday in Cuba, it is a day that’s observed very enthusiastically. Many of the main celebrations are held at the José Martí Memorial in Havana, Cuba, but there are certainly smaller memorial ceremonies held at other memorials all across Cuba. It’s a day for Cubans to show appreciation to a person that is commonly known as the Apostle of the Cuban Revolution.

Where is it celebrated?
Cuba (Observance)
When is it?
This year (2024)
January 28 Sunday
Next year (2025)
January 28 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
January 28 Saturday