Landing Of The 33 Orientals
Landing of the 33 Orientals is a national holiday in Uruguay that’s observed on the Monday closest to April 19th as possible. This holiday commemorates the return of Juan Lavelleja 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 the Portuguese. In 1820, José Gervasio Artigas—a regional anti-colonial freedom fighter—was exiled to Argentina. In 1822, Uruguay had become 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 would cross the Plata River and would lade 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 would declare its independence from Brazil and this would result in the Argentina-Brazil War. This conflict would last 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. This holiday features the laying of wreaths on monuments, and politicians giving speeches. It’s 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, too.