2011-05-27

What do Argentines celebrate the 25th of May?

Written by Sebastian Aristizabal
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On the 25th of May 1810, after a week of events taking place in Buenos Aires which would eventually be known as the May Revolution, the first independent government of Argentina, La Primera Junta, was established, bringing the nation one step closer to its independence. The 25th of May is now Argentina’s National day, which along with the 9th of July commemorates the Declaration of Independence. In 1808, during Spain’s Peninsular War, King Ferdinand VII of Spain was abdicated while the Virreinato del Río de la Plata, Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros, controlled Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia and Paraguay. In order to try and maintain stability the Viceroy tried to conceal the news. Inevitably the nation found out, causing unrest amongst the Buenos Aires population. The revolutionary events began on Friday the 18th of May 1810 as it became clearer as to what had happened to the King. It was considered that if there was no King, then there would be no Viceroy and Cisneros was soon ousted. One week later on Friday the 25th of May, the first local government was established, La Primera Junta. The legacy of the May Revolution lives on today, with many landmarks and monuments built to honour the events.

Buenos Aires’ oldest monument, Pirámide de Mayo, was built a year after the events to celebrate the one year anniversary of the May Revolutions. One of the main squares and the focal point of political life in Beunos Aires is Plaza de Mayo. Since the May revolutions the square has hosted many political events along with housing numerous landmarks, including La Casa Rosada. Last year the celebrations for Argentina’s Nation Day were the biggest seen yet, as it was the Bicentenario - the commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the May Revolutions. Beginning one week before, the event, which was primarily held in Buenos Aires, was attended by millions. The celebrations included the Avenida 9 de Julio being closed to traffic, allowing it to play host to the city’s main events. Stands representing each of the provinces lined the street, as well as those which showcased the culture of Argentina. An Argentinian rock concert inaugurated the Bicentenario on May 21st, ending in a closing parade attended by presidents from Bolivia, Chile, Urugay, Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil and Paraguay. On Wednesday Argentina celebrated the 201 year anniversary as well as the first day of the Trecentario Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández gave a speech to the country, from the city of Resistencia in Chaco. Although she continued her tradition of spending the day outside of the capital, the city saw many celebrations taking place. Avenida de Mayo was partly shut to traffic as crowed took to the streets form the early afternoon to remember the event.

Argentine flag were ubiquitous, seen lining the street, waved by children and on cars throughout the city. From the afternoon Plaza de Mayo hosted a concert. Intervals saw the story of Argentina’s fight to freedom on the screens which were innovatively placed between the archways of the Casa Rosadas front façade. The ’25 de Mayo. Gran Fiesta Popular’ saw performances for everyone, Pipo Pescador y el Sapo Pere took to the stage to entertain the young ones, national songs were sung with audience participations as well popular argentine bands pleasing the crowds. The concert climaxed with performances from Los Pericos, La Mosca, Víctor Heredia y Soledad “La Sole” Pastoruti. With Wednesdays celebration Buenos Aires took its first steps into the Trecentario with superb celebrations!

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