Independence Day

Paraguay National Holiday in Paraguay

Paraguay National Holidays

When is Independence Day?

This public holiday is celebrated on 14 May. The holiday lasts for two days and 15 May is the National Day of Paraguay. Known in Spanish as 'Día de la Independencia Nacional', this holiday celebrates Paraguay's independence from Spain in 1811.

History of the Independence Day

Paraguay was first colonised by the Spanish in the 16th century. The settlement of Asunción, now the capital of Paraguay, was founded by the Spanish on Ascension Day (15 August) 1537.

The region had shown dissent against the Spanish for several years and tension had risen in the early years of the nineteenth century due to the growing influence of Argentina in the area.

Some bad decisions by the Governor had weakened Spanish presence, which was already affected by the Napoleonic Wars, enabling the Paraguayans, led by a lawyer, Dr. José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, to overthrow the Spanish in a fairly bloodless revolution on 14 May 811.

As a result Paraguay became the second independent nation in the new world - United States was the first. Dr. Francia became the first President of Paraguay, ruling from 1814 to 1840.

He was influential in the design of the flag of Paraguay, which uniquely is the only national flag in the world that has a different image on each side.

In Paraguay, Mother's Day is also celebrated on 15 May. This date was chosen to honour the role played by Juana María de Lara in Paraguay's independence.

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