Independence Day in Paraguay in 2024

Independence Day in Paraguay in 2024
  How long until Independence Day?
Independence Day
  Dates of Independence Day in Paraguay
2024 May 14, May 15
ParaguayWed, May 15National Holiday (additional day)
ParaguayTue, May 14National Holiday
2023 May 14, May 15
ParaguayMon, May 15National Holiday (additional day)
ParaguaySun, May 14National Holiday
2022 May 14, May 15
ParaguaySun, May 15National Holiday (additional day)
ParaguaySat, May 14National Holiday
2021 May 14, May 15
ParaguaySat, May 15National Holiday (additional day)
ParaguayFri, May 14National Holiday
2020 May 14, May 15
ParaguayFri, May 15National Holiday (additional day)
ParaguayThu, May 14National Holiday

Spanish authority in Paraguay was overthrown by an uprising on May 14th and 15th 1811

  Local name
Día de la Independencia Nacional

When is Independence Day?

This public holiday is celebrated on May 14th. The holiday lasts for two days and May 15th 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 is a landlocked country in South America, bordered by Brazil to the east, Argentina to the south and west, and Bolivia to the northwest. Before the arrival of Europeans, the territory was inhabited by various indigenous peoples, including the Guarani, who still make up a significant portion of the population today.

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 (August 15th) 1537.

Did you know?

There are two theories about where the name "Paraguay" comes from. One version says it means either "River of the Payaguas", an Indian tribe, or "crowned river" after the native Indian Guaraní words for palm crown and water. A more colourful versions is that there was a parrot named Frank that the first Jesuit settlers befriended when they arrived in the region. To back up this theory, on old maps, Paraguay was labelled as "Parrot". 

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 May 14th 1811.

As a result, Paraguay became the second independent nation in the new world - the 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 the center of one side is the Paraguayan coat of arms, and on the opposite, the treasury seal with the national motto: “Paz y justicia” (“Peace and Justice”).

How is Independence Day Celebrated?

Paraguay National Day holds immense significance for the Paraguayan people as it marks their liberation from Spanish colonial rule. The declaration of independence symbolizes the country’s commitment to self-determination, freedom, and the pursuit of national sovereignty. The day serves as a reminder of the struggles and sacrifices made by the founding fathers and the people of Paraguay to establish an independent nation. It is also an opportunity for Paraguayans to celebrate their cultural heritage, unity, and national identity.

To celebrate Paraguay’s independence, men and women don their straw hats and bombachas or brightly-colored blouses and rebozos, and explore the streets for local music performances. The day is normally marked with outdoor gatherings of loved ones to play soccer, listen to local music, and host barbeques.

At these vibrant cookouts, you'll find the national dish of sopa paraguaya (a zesty traditional cheesy cornbread) and no shortage of yerba mate, a traditional caffeine-rich drink essential for celebrating Paraguayan cultural heritage.

¡Feliz día de la independencia, Paraguay!

Mother's Day

In Paraguay, Mother's Day is celebrated on May 15th, on the same day as Independence Day. The date was chosen to honour Juan María De Lara who played a large role in the country's independence.

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