Landing Of The 33 Orientals

Landing of the 33 Orientals is a national holiday in Uruguay that is observed on the Monday closest to April 19th. This holiday commemorates the return of Juan Antonio Lavalleja and his 33 exiled Uruguayan fighters in 1825.

These fighters took an oath to free Uruguay from Brazilian control, and they are sometimes known as the 33 patriots—hence the alternative name for this holiday: Landing of the 33 Patriots Day. These patriots were known as the 33 Orientals because Uruguay was known as the Banda Oriental, or Eastern Bank, of the Rio de la Plata. The western bank was Argentina.

The History of the Landing of the 33 Patriots

Over the course of the beginning of the 19th century, Uruguay was occupied by several colonial powers, including the British, Spanish, and Portuguese. In 1820, José Gervasio Artigas—a regional anti-colonial freedom fighter—was exiled to Argentina. In 1822, Uruguay became a part of the province of Brazil after it had gained independence from Portugal.

In 1825, Uruguayan fighters exiled with Artigas returned under the leadership of Juan Antonio Lavalleja. They crossed the Plata River and landed on Agraciada Beach on April 19th. It was there that they pledged to fight for the independence of Uruguay.

In August of that year, Uruguay declared its independence from Brazil, which resulted in the Argentina-Brazil War. This conflict lasted until 1828 when Brazil finally recognized Uruguay’s independence.

Observing the Landing of the 33 Orientals

This holiday is celebrated in much the same way as Uruguay’s Independence Day on August 25th. The holiday features the laying of wreaths on monuments and politicians giving speeches. It is also a national public holiday for the general public, and government offices and schools are closed for the day. Many businesses are also closed on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Uruguay (Bank holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 22 Monday
Next year (2025)
April 19 Saturday
Last year (2023)
April 17 Monday