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Guatemala celebrates Independence Day

Independence Day in Guatemala is a public holiday.

Guatemala Independence Day: September 15

Guatemala celebrates Independence Day.

The citizens of the United Kingdom of Guatemala announced their sovereignty and independence from Spain on September 15, 1821.

Guatemala Independence Day History

From 1811 to 1818, Captain General José de Bustamante ruled the Kingdom of Guatemala. He suppressed all attempts toward independence thus preserving the region’s allegiance to Spain. King Ferdinand VII was restored to the Spanish throne after the French were defeated in Spain in 1814. However, a revolt ensued around 1820 in Spain thereby restoring the constitution of 1812. During this period local election campaigns followed in Central America and an intense political rivalry emerged between the liberal and the conservative factions of the elite.

Guatemala was fortunate to have gained independence from Spain without much blood being spilt compared to the wars that occurred to most countries of Latin America. On September 15, 1821, a council of distinquished personages in Guatemala City proclaimed independence from Spain and they formed a government with Gabino de Gainza, as the chief executive.

Honduran lawyer and scholar José Cecilio del Valle, promptly attempted to integrate Guatemala into the Mexican Empire in January 1822. Opposition from the provinces soon turned into an ugly civil war, but it ended as quickly as it began when Iturbide’s government in Mexico soon collapsed.

Guatemala Independence Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

In the days leading up to Independence Day, most of the country’s schools, buildings and buses are decorated with nationalistic images. The students form assemblies as they sing the national anthem. Customarily the Guatemalan army have a traditional military parade and air shows, usually for the review of the President. Many Guatemalans take this time to visit traditional tourist areas to watch the ongoing celebrations.

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