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!
Brazil Independence Day timeline
The king authorizes the Prince Regent to rule in his place
The king bestows the authority to rule in case of death or calamity on his son and heir, the Prince Regent, Dom Pedro.
Portugal's Constitutional Rebellion causes King Dom João VI to return home
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 new nation formally issues its Declaration of Independence on September 22.
The Declaration states that Brazil was independent from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil, and the Algarves.
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.
3 Ways Brazil Kicked The Portugese Out
Freed slaves fought
Brazilian slaves were given their independence so they could join Brazil's army and navy as they fought against Portugal.
Tiradentes sparked renewed passion in the fight against Portugal
A Brazilian freedom fighter, José Joaquim da Silva Xavier, more popularly known as Tiradentes, sparked intense fervor to get the Portugese out of Brazil after his murder. Today, Tiradentes is revered as a martyr for Brazilian independence and a town is named after him.
A Scotsman led Brazil's naval fight against Portugal
Thomas Cochrane was in charge of Brazil's navy but when he discovered Portuguese saboteurs in the ranks, he replaced them with British and American sailors.
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!