Mexico celebrates Benito Juarez Day as a national holiday on March 20, 2022. It takes place every third Monday in March to commemorate the birth of former President Benito Juárez in the 1800s. This year, it takes place on March 18. During his presidency, Juárez was known for his staunch opposition to French intervention in Mexico. To remember his birthday, a few political events are conducted, and San Pablo Guelatao, his birthplace, is agog with competitions, tournaments, fireworks, and dances.
History of Benito Juarez Day
Benito Pablo Juárez García was a hero and celebrated figure in Mexico. Every year, he is commemorated for his contributions to the lives of the Mexican people. Juárez was born on March 21, 1806, in San Pablo Guelatao, Oaxaca. He began his career as a lawyer and rose through the ranks to become a state legislator, civil judge, government secretary, and governor. He was elected president of Mexico on January 15, 1858, and was known for his reforms. As a Zapotec, he was the first indigenous president of Mexico and in postcolonial America.
Juárez was dedicated to the development of democracy, strove to decrease the Catholic Church’s influence on Mexican politics, and campaigned tirelessly for indigenous people’s rights. Due to political strife, he was banished to the United States in 1853. The next year, he assisted in the publication of the “Plan de Ayutla,” which ousted political leader Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna’s dictatorship and established a new Constitutional Congress.
Juárez was chosen as the president of the Supreme Court of Justice in 1857, a position he held until his election to the presidency in 1858. He served as President of Mexico amid historic events like the Reform War, the French Intervention, the Second Empire, and the restoration of the republic, until his death in 1872. Juárez also succeeded in overturning the Second Mexican Empire and reestablishing the Mexican Republic by resisting the French occupation of Mexico. For that period, his efforts were unusually generous, resulting in the nation’s modernization.
Benito Juarez Day timeline
Juárez is born in San Pablo Guelatao on March 21.
Juárez leaves for the United States in exile due to political conflict.
On his return from the U.S., Juárez is elected as the president of Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice.
On January 15, Juárez becomes the 26th president of Mexico.
President Juárez dies of a heart attack in office.
Benito Juarez Day FAQs
Was Benito Juárez a good leader?
Juárez had many flaws, yet he was one of Mexico’s finest leaders. Although he did little to assist the rural proletariat, he battled for and built a liberal constitution. He also steadfastly defended the country from foreign dominance.
What is the meaning of Juárez?
The Spanish surname Juárez is widely assumed to be a regional version of Suárez, which comes from the Latin word ‘suerius.’ This implies that the surname was given to a swineherd.
How did Benito Juárez die?
After being reelected in a fiercely contested race in 1871, Juárez died of a major heart attack in July 1872.
How to Observe Benito Juarez Day
Read about Benito Juárez
This memorial is the perfect day to learn more about the Mexican icon. From humble beginnings as a shepherd to taking the highest seat in the land, read up about Benito Juárez and be inspired by his story.
Explore Mexican culture
Mexico is a land rich in history and vibrant culture. Visit Mexico, read books, or watch movies to immerse yourself in the beauty of Mexican culture.
Attend an event
Juárez’s hometown, San Pablo Guelatao, hosts several activities to honor the icon. Attend any of these events if you can, for a complete experience of the holiday.
5 Interesting Facts About Benito Juarez
Juárez was President of Mexico for five terms.
He was orphaned at three
He had a rough childhood and was orphaned when he was three years old.
He was raised by his uncle and worked as a shepherd.
A law degree
He graduated from a seminary as a priest before obtaining a law degree.
Governor of Oaxaca
In 1847, he was elected as Oaxaca’s governor.
Why Benito Juarez Day is Important
His reforms paved the way for Mexico's spectacular modernization in the final quarter of the 1800s. They helped free the country from the most severe neo-colonial legacies.
Juárez is remembered for the 1859 Reform Laws, which cemented the separation of Church and State. Under these laws, church properties were repossessed and civil marriages became legal.
This holiday also celebrates the rich history of Mexico. It is a symbol of the fighting spirit of all Mexicans.
Benito Juarez Day dates