Restoration Day in Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, Restoration Day is a public holiday observed on August 16th. Known as “El día de la Restauración Dominicana,” this holiday commemorates the beginning of the Dominican Restoration War on that day in 1863.

The outcome of this war was the departure of the Spanish from the country, and the Dominican Republic established a tradition of holding presidential elections every four years. The president is inaugurated on this holiday. It is also a day when the current president informs the citizens of the Dominican Republic about the achievements of the past year.

The History of Restoration Day in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic gained its independence from Haiti in 1844. The president of the Dominican Republic, Pedro Santana, signed a pact with Spain in 1861 to revert the country back to Spanish colonial status for economic and political reasons.

However, the forced Spanish colonization only weakened Santana’s rule, contrary to his expectations. This led to a failed rebellion, and Santana resigned from office in January 1862.

On August 16th, 1863, Santiago Rodriguez and 15 men raided the city of Dajabón and raised the Dominican flag on Capotillo Hill. This act marked the beginning of the Dominican Restoration War, fought between nationalist Dominicans and Spanish forces.

The war concluded on March 3rd, 1865, when Queen Isabel II of Spain annulled the annexation of the Dominican Republic to Spain. On July 15th, 1865, the last Spanish troops left the country, and the Dominican Republic regained its sovereignty.

Observing Restoration Day in the Dominican Republic

As mentioned earlier, this holiday is when the president of the Dominican Republic officially takes office or, if already in office, delivers a “State of the Country” address. The day is also celebrated with parades, festivals, concerts, and other events.

Where is it celebrated?
Dominican Republic (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
August 16 Friday
Next year (2025)
August 16 Saturday
Last year (2023)
August 16 Wednesday