Brazil celebrates Independence Day on September 7 — or as they say in Brazil — Sete de Setembro! The Regent Prince, Dom Pedro, son of the Portuguese king, Dom João VI, was authorized to rule if the king either died or returned to Portugal. Upon his father’s return to Portugal in 1821, Dom Pedro took over, eventually declaring allegiance with Brazil. Brazilian independence was officially proclaimed September 22, 1822 (although now Independence Day is celebrated on September 7).
After independence, the monarchy remained until it was later overthrown. During celebrations today, the streets are full of patriotic Brazilians waving flags and banners. There’s also singing and dancing among family and friends. Viva Brazil!
When is Brazil Independence Day 2023?
The Independence Day of Brazil, or ‘Sete de Setembro,’ is celebrated on September 7.
History of Brazil Independence Day
Brazil’s history is a complex tale of politics and power. Before the Europeans arrived, Brazil was populated with Stone-Age tribes. Not much is known about these settlements as there isn’t a lot of written evidence about their lifestyle. The Portuguese landed in 1500 and Brazil was claimed by Pedro Álvares Cabral as a colony of Portugal. In 1532, São Vicente was established as the first permanent Portuguese settlement and, in 1549, Salvador was declared as the first capital of Brazil. It became a major port for sugarcane and slaves. Slaves were brought in from Africa to do labor work and, through battles and wars, Brazil was able to expand. The Portuguese took over Rio de Janeiro by defeating the French and captured several Dutch and British extensions.
Napoleon was attempting to conquer Europe during the early 1800s. In his absence, French troops invaded Lisbon. Prince Regent John VI set up the Portuguese Royal Court in Rio de Janeiro to avoid being disposed of.
From 1808, the Portuguese king ruled his vast empire from Rio de Janeiro. After the Independence War ended, Brazil declared its independence and ceased to be a Portuguese colony in 1822, becoming the Empire of Brazil. Until 1831, Pedro I ruled, giving up his throne to his five-year-old son, Pedro II. Years of rebellion followed this. After a military coup in 1889, the Brazilian Republic was established and Pedro II was expelled. The territory was renamed the Republic of the United States of Brazil and was renamed again to the Federative Republic of Brazil in 1967.
Brazil Independence Day timeline
The king bestows the authority to rule in case of death or calamity on his son and heir, the Prince Regent, Dom Pedro.
A political revolution led by those who wanted a constitution detailing the people's rights was brewing in Portugal — causing the king to leave Brazil and return to Portugal.
The Declaration states that Brazil was independent from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves.
Brazil adopts its first constitution and the country is recognized by the United States.
Traditions of the Day
Independence Day celebrations are held on a vast level across Brazil. The day is marked with military parades and patriotic performances during the day and fireworks at night in major cities. The national celebration is hosted at the Ministries Esplanade with the president of Brazil present and spearheading the civil military parade.
Picnics and other outdoor activities are a tradition, with thousands of Brazilians gathering on the streets to celebrate together.
Brazil Independence Day FAQs
When did Brazil get its independence?
Pedro established the Brazilian empire and declared independence on September 7, 1822.
When did slavery end in Brazil?
On May 13, 1888, Brazilian Princess Isabel of Bragança signed Imperial Law number 3,353. Also known as the “Golden Law,” it abolished slavery in all forms.
What is the official language of Brazil?
The official language of Brazil is Portuguese.
How to Observe Brazil Independence Day
Hoist your Brazilian flag high
Brazil's official colors are green, yellow and blue — symbolic of the things Brazilians hold dear. The green represents its lush, forests and the yellow signifies Brazil's wealth. The rich, blue color sitting squarely in the center of the flag shows Brazil's position as the center of its own universe.
Enjoy a glittery show
Brazil's Independence Day arrives with a bang! Highlights include air shows and fireworks.
Celebrate like a true Brazilian
You don't have to be Brazilian to be a part of these fun, global celebrations. If you've been invited to a Brazilian's house for dinner, make sure to bring a gift as a sign of respect. Then get ready for delicious Brazilian food and almost always, a serious party with music, dancing and singing.
5 Rich Facts About Brazil
Brazilian settlement is really old
Recently discovered evidence suggests that human settlement in Brazil began more than 30,000 years ago.
The origins of the name Brazil
The name Brazil is derived from ‘pau-basil’ which is Portuguese for the native Brazil tree.
Brazilians LOVE soccer
Soccer is the most popular sport in Brazil.
Brazil boasts many heritage sites
Seven natural- and 14 cultural World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO are in Brazil.
Brazilians know how to party
The world’s largest carnival takes place in Rio de Janeiro every year in the first week of March.
Why Brazil Independence Day is Important
It marks a day of liberation
From the 16th century, Brazilians chafed under Portuguese dominance. As part of a monarchy run by King Dom João VI, Brazil was just one more colony ripe for exploitation. By the 1820s, colonists were ready to throw off their Portuguese shackles. Today's Brazilians remember the long fight for freedom with endless partying and celebrations during Independence Day.
It shows off Brazilian pride in diversity
It's possible to see every color of the rainbow reflected in Brazilian families. Brazil's past shows up in the dark skin of the ancestors of slaves, the fair skin of European descendents and the red and brown coloring of those with an indigenous Indian heritage. On Brazil Independence Day, Brazilians of every hue and background come out to celebrate their love of freedom. It's also a day to acknowledge Brazil's diversity as a unique, cultural treasure.
Samba the day away
Brazilians love to party and Independence Day is just another excuse for fun-loving folks to come out and play. Strut your stuff on the beach or spend an evening dancing a sexy samba. And the day isn't just limited to those who live in Brazil. Celebrations in New York City pull in a crowd of about 1.5 million people!
Brazil Independence Day dates