Known as 'Fiestas Patrias', this holiday is always celebrated on 28 July and marks Peru's declaration of independence from Spain in 1821.
The holiday lasts for two days. If 28 July falls on a Tuesday, then the Monday may be given as a bridge holiday.
Peru was first colonised by the Spanish in the 15th century. Despite the wars of independence being fought across Latin America in the early 19th century, Peru remained loyal to the Spanish crown. There had been some insurrection but this had been quashed by the government.
The Viceroy of Peru then initiated a military campaign against Chile and their fight for independence. Despite some early success, the tide turned against the Viceroy and the Royalist forces. Argentina and Chile then signed a treaty to peruse the 'liberation' of Peru. On entering Lima, the Argentinian commander, Jose San Martin declared the independence of Peru on 28 July 1821.
However, it wasn't until 1824, following the decisive victory came at the Battle of Ayacucho, under the leadership of Simon Bolivar and Jose San Martin, that independence was achieved.
Celebrations usually begin on the evening of 27 July with folk music played across parks and plazas in Peru.
On 28 July, the celebrations are patriotic, with 21-gun salutes and a flag raising ceremony in the capital, Lima.
The second day of the holiday focuses on celebrating the Armed Forces and the National Police of Peru and is marked by a large military parade,
In the south of Peru, festivities begin on St. James' Day, 25 July.