Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Feliz Sete de Setembro (Happy Seventh of September)

Today is Brazil's national holiday, called simply, like the Fourth of July in the USA, the Seventh of September. Although both the American national holiday and the Brazilian one are officially called Independence Day (Dia da Independência), in popular usage they are referred to more commonly by the calendar date.

Today's celebrations throughout Brazil commemorate the events of September 7, 1822, when the Portuguese Prince-Regent Dom Pedro II shouted out "Independência ou Morte!" to his troops assembled along the banks of the Ipiranga river in the province of São Paulo and thus initiated the rebellion that resulted in Portugal relinquishing control of its most important colony in 1823.

The day is marked in cities in town in Brazil with military-themed parades and with Brazilians thronging the country's beaches, lakes and parks. As we type this post here at Flavors of Brazil, we can hear the sounds of military bands parading in the distance, and occasionally the roar of military acrobatic jets entertaining the crowds along Fortaleza's seafront parade route.

Readers of the blog outside Brazil - if you have Brazilian acquaintances or friends living in your country, give them a call today to celebrate the day - all you need to say is "Feliz Sete de Setembro" - pronounced "Fay-leeze Seh-tche Gee Seh-tem-broo". They're very likely to be impressed both with the fact that you know today is a special day and that you speak such excellent Portuguese.

For readers of the blog here in Brazil, we say - Tudo de bom para o feriado. Aproveitem!

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