San Martin Day is an annual celebration observed on the third Monday in August. This year, San Martin Day is celebrated on August 19. On San Martin Day, Argentina commemorates the death anniversary of its founding father, José Francisco de San Martin. He was a general in the Argentine army and the frontline leader in the struggle for independence from Spain by Argentina and other southern nations of Southern America. San Martin is considered a national hero, and his death is observed as a national holiday in Argentina.
History of San Martin Day
San Martin Day celebrates one of the founding fathers of Latin America, José Francisco de San Martin y Matorras, who died on August 17, 1850. General San Martin was a statesman, a legislator, an Argentine soldier, and a national hero. He led the revolution against Spanish rule in the southern nations of South America and Liberated Argentina, Chile, and Peru.
In 1812, following his resignation from the Spanish army, General San Martin joined the patriot forces in Buenos Aires that led the revolution that granted Argentina temporary freedom from Spanish rule. General San Martin believed that Argentina’s complete freedom would only come from dislodging Spanish forces in Peru, Chile, and Bolivia.
In 1814, General Martin took up the governorship of the province of Cuyo. He wanted to advance his plans of liberation and established a new army unit called the “Army of the Andes” in Cuyo Province, Argentina. In 1816, he liberated Argentina from Spanish rule. His liberation conquest did not end there as he led the Crossing of the Andes to Chile, where he triumphed at the Battle of Chacabuco and the Battle of Maipú in 1818 and liberated Chile from royalist rule.
Following Chile’s liberation, General Martin set out to release Lima, Peru, from the clutches of the Spanish regime. By 1821, he gained partial control of Lima, and by July of the same year, Peru was declared an independent nation. To this day, he is recognized in Argentina as the “Padre de la Patria,” the Father of Argentina, and the Liberator of Chile and Peru.
San Martin Day timeline
San Martin and his troops win the battle of Chacabuco, earning him the title “Knight of the Andes.”
General Martin enters Lima and liberates it from Spanish rule.
After declaring Peru a free nation, San Martin is bestowed the title “Protector of Peru” by the Peruvians.
In Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, an equestrian statue of General San Martin is erected.
San Martin Day FAQs
How is San Martin Day celebrated?
The Argentinian military body holds traditions such as the reenactment of the freedom campaign on the grounds of the Mounted Grenadier Regiment.
Was José de San Martín a Creole?
Because José de San Martin was not of complete Spanish ancestry, he was classified as a ‘Creole.’
What happened to José de San Martín?
He died in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, in 1850.
How to Observe San Martin Day
Visit the Unity Museum
If you live in the area, you can visit the Unity museum in Argentina to see firsthand the saber of José de San Martín. Take your friends and family with you.
To fully enjoy this holiday celebration, you can make travel arrangements to visit Argentina for the celebration. Be sure to snap some pictures and post them on social media!
Watch a Documentary
You can join in on the celebration by educating yourself. Watch a documentary or a short film on the achievements of José de San Martín.
5 Facts About San Martin
First National Hero
The Federals of Argentina recognized Martin as a national hero while he was alive and after his demise.
National Library of Peru
San Martin was the founder of the National Library of Peru.
He retired in France
In 1824, San Martin retired to a quiet life in France.
Young sub-lieutenant in the Spanish Army
At the young age of 15, San Martin was raised to the rank of Sub-Lieutenant in 1793.
Gold Medal Award
For his military accomplishments, San Martin was awarded a gold medal and promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.
Why San Martin Day is Important
It celebrates Argentina’s history
San Martin Day celebrates the history of Argentina and the journey to its Independence. It is important to know the history of one's country.
It honors a national Hero
San Martin Day honors a national hero who led the fight for the independence of three countries. There is something extremely special about this!
It promotes democracy
San Martin day promotes the ideals of democracy. These ideals include liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and equality.
San Martin Day dates