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The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans – February 20, 2023

The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans is celebrated every third Monday in February. This year, it takes place on The day is celebrated by the Puerto Rican people to honor and remember all the heroes of the revolution who helped to establish the foundation for the country’s independence. The freedom to choose to speak for one’s own country is one of the most crucial qualities that every country should have. The Puerto Ricans did not have that freedom or a national identity. Thanks to the efforts of national heroes like Eugenio María de Hostos, Luis Muñoz Rivera, José de Diego, and Dr. José Celso Barbosa, they created a national identity and started working towards the dream of independence.

History of The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans

Puerto Ricans are the inhabitants and residents of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as their descendants. The Tano, who called the island Borikén, were the original inhabitants of Puerto Rico. However, as in other parts of the Americas, the native people quickly declined in number after the arrival of Spanish settlers.

Puerto Rico is a United States of America territory (Commonwealth), and Puerto Ricans share common citizenship, currency, and defense. Even though Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they do not pay federal income taxes and cannot vote in presidential elections. Puerto Ricans do not need a work visa (also known as a green card) to reside and/or work in the U.S. because they are citizens.

Puerto Ricans identify as Americans but are incredibly proud of their island and heritage. They usually refer to themselves as “Puertorriqueños” or “Boricuas,” rather than “Americans” or “Americanos.” Most Puerto Ricans define “my country” as “Puerto Rico,” not “the United States.” Boricua, derived from the Tano word Boriken, is used to express Puerto Ricans’ pride in their Tano heritage. Boriken is translated as “the great land of the valiant and noble Lord.” Before the arrival of the Spaniards, the Tano people used the name Borikén.

Barbosa, de Diego, Muñoz Rivera, de Hostos, Luis Muñoz Marín, Ramón Emeterio Betances, Ernesto Ramos-Antonini, Román Baldorioty de Castro, and Luis A. Ferré are all honored on this day. The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans aims to encourage the present generation of Boricuas to recognize the contributions that these great leaders made to the rise of the national identity of Puerto Ricans.

The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans timeline

430 B.C.
The First Settlement in Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rican story begins with the arrival of the Ortoiroid people.

1493
The Puerto Rican Claim

Christopher Columbus discovers Puerto Rico on his second Antilles voyage.

1513
Puerto Rico's First School

The Escuela de Gramática becomes Puerto Rico's first school (Grammar School), established by Bishop Alonso Manso.

1947
The Right to Vote

Puerto Ricans now have partial self-government with the power to elect their governor.

2006
Puerto Rico Implements Sales Tax

In November, Puerto Rico enacts the first ever sales tax to address significant budget deficits.

The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans FAQs

Who is Pedro Albizu Campos?

Campos was the most prominent Puerto Rican political figure of the 20th century, a national hero who gave his life for his country’s freedom. Under his leadership, the Nationalist Party of Puerto Rico became a major force in the fight for independence.

What is Puerto Rico's most popular holiday?

Holy Week (Santa Semana) is the most important Catholic festival in Puerto Rico and thus the busiest holiday.

What is the nationality of the people from Puerto Rico?

Puerto Ricans identify as Americans but are fiercely proud of their island and culture. They usually call themselves ‘Puertorriqueños’ or ‘Boricuas,’ rather than ‘Americans’ or ‘Americanos.’

How to Observe The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans

  1. Celebrate with your Puerto Rican friends

    Wish your Puerto Rican friends a happy Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans. It is a national holiday, and the fight for freedom continues to inspire citizens today.

  2. Learn about the past

    Learning about the country's history is an excellent way to commemorate The Day of the Illustrious Puerto Ricans. Learn more about the U.S. and Spanish colonial rule and how natives revolted against their tyranny.

  3. Make a patriotic gesture

    Celebrate Puerto Rican Heritage Day by doing something patriotic for your own country. Take up a cause, make a charitable donation, or learn more about your own country.

5 Interesting Facts About Puerto Rico

  1. The island was known as San Juan Bautista

    During the rule of the Spanish empire, Puerto Rico's name changed several times.

  2. Not just an island

    Puerto Rico is an archipelago made up of the main island and several smaller islands.

  3. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens

    The Jones-Shafroth Act granted Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship for the first time since the U.S. arrived after winning the Spanish-American War.

  4. Puerto Rico remains a colony

    Puerto Rico has never been a free country since Columbus arrived and claimed it as a Spanish colony.

  5. Puerto Rico has two official languages

    According to the country's constitution, Puerto Rico has two official languages, Spanish and English.

Why The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans is Important

  1. It commemorates global history

    We may be unaware of Puerto Rico's struggle for freedom in our part of the world. Days like the Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans inspire us to learn more about other countries and their histories.

  2. Puerto Rico is an amazing vacation destination

    Puerto Rico, widely recognized for its stunning landscape and islands, is a country that holds many promises. We celebrate the Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans because we adore Puerto Rico.

  3. Inspiring future generations

    One of the most crucial aspects of modern life is freedom. We love this day because it honors the heroes who fought selflessly for their nation.

The Day of Illustrious Puerto Ricans dates

YearDateDay
2022February 21Monday
2023February 20Monday
2024February 19Monday
2025February 17Monday
2026February 16Monday

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