Landing of the 33 Patriots Day is a holiday observed every year on April 19 in Uruguay. It honors the first step towards Uruguayan independence, when, in 1825, a military group called the Thirty-Three Orientals valiantly crossed the river and put down their flag in a region of war between Uruguay and Brazil, thus swearing to gain the independence of the country and to fight until it was finally done. A few months later, Uruguay effectively claimed its independence, and later on, kept fighting for Brazilian recognition until it was granted in 1828.
History of Landing of the 33 Patriots Day
The Thirty-Three Orientals was a military group founded by Juan Antonio Lavalleja and Manuel Oribe against Portuguese Brazil, an empire whose goal was to extend its territory, reclaiming lands that are in what nowadays is known as Uruguay. The name of the movement comes from the fact that their primary focus was the independence of the Banda Oriental, or the Eastern Bank, a region in modern northern Uruguay and southern Brazil. In 1825, the group began their expedition, from Buenos Aires Province, heading toward Cisplatina Province, where they would attempt to drive out the Brazilians.
On April 18, the group was able to advance into the territory without being seen by the Brazilian brigades and on the very dawn of April 19, they planted the Flag of the Thirty-Three Orientals, which consisted of three horizontal stripes in red, white, and blue. This particular event is what is observed on Landing of the Thirty-Three Orientals Day, the federal holiday in Uruguay.
After this, the Thirty-Three Orientals continued their campaign around the country of Uruguay, spreading their message around to all Uruguayans, in hopes of converting more people to the goal of territorial and political independence. In June, they installed a new government and in August independence was finally declared. However, a new conflict began between the country and the Empire of Brazil — the Cisplatine War, which lasted until 1828, when Brazil finally recognized the independence of Uruguay.
Landing of the 33 Patriots Day timeline
The Cisplatina Province is taken by Portuguese Brazil.
The group is put together by leaders Juan Antonio Lavalleja and Manuel Oribe.
The group lands and sets down the flag, declaring the war for independence.
After the war, Brazil finally recognizes the independence of Uruguay.
Landing of the 33 Patriots Day FAQs
What is Uruguay’s religion?
Nearly half of Uruguayans are Catholics and most of the other half are Christian but from other denominations.
Do they speak English in Uruguay?
The official language of Uruguay is Spanish, and some can speak Portuguese as well.
What is Uruguay’s most famous food?
The national Uruguayan dish is called ‘Chivito’, which is a type of sandwich.
How to Observe Landing of the 33 Patriots Day
Set a flag outside
To show your pride in celebrating, you can set the Uruguayan flag outside your house. It is a great way to state you know a thing or two about history.
Read about the war
You can always take the time to read all about the war and the conflicts that lead up to this event. There are thousands of references on the Internet.
Visit the monument
In Montevideo, there’s a big monument in celebration of the event. You can always plan a visit!
5 Interesting Facts About Uruguay
It’s the second-smallest country in South America
The smallest country in South America is Suriname, but the second-smallest one is Uruguay.
Uruguayans are avid ‘mate’ consumers
When walking on the street, you’ll always see someone carrying around their Thermos and ‘mate’.
It has a really long national anthem
Uruguay’s national anthem is nearly five minutes long.
It hosted the first FIFA World Cup
The first-ever FIFA World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930.
Tango is Cultural Heritage by UNESCO
The iconic dance style originated in Uruguay and Argentina and since 2009 was deemed an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Why Landing of the 33 Patriots Day is Important
It celebrates independence
Holidays that celebrate independence are always great. They remind us of our freedom.
It unites people
Federal holidays are always bringing everyone around the country together to celebrate. We love being able to gather with as many people as we can.
It’s all about bravery
This holiday celebrates the bravery of the men who went after what they wanted. It serves as an example for all of us!
Landing of the 33 Patriots Day dates