Simon Bolivar’s birthday is celebrated every year on July 24 in Venezuela. The holiday commemorates the life and achievements of the most powerful leader in South America.
Born in 1783, Bolivar was famous for helping nations become independent from Spanish rule. His efforts earned him the name ‘El Libertador’ or ‘The Liberator.’
History of Simón Bolivar's Birthday
In 1783, Simon Bolivar was born into an influential and wealthy family in Caracas. He lost both parents before he turned 10 and thus was placed under the guidance of several tutors. One of his tutors, Don Simón Rodríguez, instilled the ideas of liberty, enlightenment, and freedom into Bolivar, which would cause him to declare himself a staunch democrat in his later years. Unfortunately, Rodríguez had to leave the country when Bolivar was 14. Two years later, Bolívar was sent to Europe to complete his education.
While he was living in Spain in 1802, Bolivar married the daughter of a Spanish nobleman. He returned to Caracas with his young bride. However, due to yellow fever, his wife died less than a year later. To recover from his loss, Bolivar traveled across Europe for a few years. During his travels, he saw Napoleon Bonaparte proclaim himself Emperor of France in Paris and later King of Italy in Milan. It was at this time that Bolivar swore to relieve Venezuela of Spanish rule.
By 1807, Bolivar was back home but soon found that he was too eager for change, so he bided his time. However, when Napoleon replaced the rulers of Spain with his brother, Venezuelan creoles sought to create their own government. By 1810, the creoles deposed the Captain-General of Venezuela. Bolivar was at the forefront of the fight for independence. He went to Britain to plead for the right of self-governance for Venezuela, and when he came back, he helped secure a congress of Venezuelan provinces to declare independence in 1811. But the motion was opposed by pro-Spanish Royalists and eventually led to Bolivar’s exile.
After finding allies in Haiti during his exile, Bolivar returned to Venezuela, formed a republic in 1917, liberated New Garanda in 1819, Panama in 1921, Ecuador in 1822, and Peru two years later. He consolidated these states into a single republic called Gran Colombia. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to hold the republic together and was removed from government in 1930.
Simón Bolivar's Birthday timeline
Bolívares is born to wealthy parents in Caracas.
Bolivar liberates Peru from Spanish rule.
Bolivar narrowly avoids an assassination attempt.
Bolivar resigns from his role as president.
Simón Bolivar's Birthday FAQs
Which battle did Bolívar lose?
Bolívar and Santiago Mariño were defeated at the Second Battle of La Puerta in 1814.
Was Bolivar a dictator?
Bolivar believed in democracy and was a great advocate for independence from the Spanish King. However, he felt that the newly-liberated nations of South America weren’t ready for complete democracy.
Is Bolivar still relevant?
Simon Bolivar is still relevant in South American politics, as politicians and leaders are still fighting over his legacy and undisputed political “heir.”
How to Observe Simón Bolivar's Birthday
Travel to Venezuela and visit the Museo Casa de Simón Bolívar, Bolívar’s home and now a museum. Take a house tour and look at the various mementos of Bolivar’s life.
Share the holiday
You can share the holiday with the people around you — online or in person. Sharing the occasion on social media would be effective as well.
Learn about Bolivar
You can learn more about Bolivar by conducting some research. This will help you to better understand his history and life achievements.
5 Unique Facts About Simon Bolivar
He was educated
Simon Bolívar had a privileged upbringing and an excellent education.
He did lose some battles
Bolívar lost some battles, though he won more than he lost.
He never remarried
After his wife died, Bolívar never remarried.
He had a terminal disease
Bolívar had tuberculosis.
He died young
Simón Bolívar passed away at the age of 47 on December 17, 1830.
Why Simón Bolivar's Birthday is Important
It honors Bolivar’s legacy
Bolivar was one of the first men who stood against the Spanish and won. His determination to gain independence allowed him to free thousands of people from Spanish rule and lead six countries to self-governance.
It celebrates South American culture
Bolivar is a cultural and national icon to the nations of South America and the world, so much so that the country of Bolivia was named after him. He is also an important part of Venezuelan culture and politics.
It creates a feeling of patriotism
The holiday celebrates Bolivar’s pride in his people, giving South American people a common reason to come together. It also encourages nationalism and cultural pride.
Simón Bolivar's Birthday dates