Peru’s Independence Day celebrations, known as the Fiestas Patrias, is one of the country’s most important public holidays.
From the beginning of July each year, Peru’s distinctive red and white flag can be seen flying high in the streets and homes of cities, towns and remote communities. This is to pay homage to the liberation of the Viceroyalty of Peru, which was first colonised by the Spanish in the 15th century. On July 28th in 1821 José de San Martín and his forces entered Lima declaring the independence of Peru from Spanish rule after more than four centuries.
The celebrations take place over two days each year. Starting on the evening of July 27, cities and towns across Peru will stage serenatas, or open air concerts, in plazas and parks. Dawn on July 28th is greeted with a 21 cannon salute followed by the official raising of the flag ceremony. Peruvians everywhere will then take to the streets to enjoy parades, music, food, dancing, and, of course, the opportunity to raise a glass or two of pisco – the national spirit of Peru – in honour of their independence. The party atmosphere continues as night falls, with fireworks and more pisco!
The next day, July 29th, is when Peruvian’s honour their Armed Forces and National Police during the Gran Parada Militar del Perú (the Great Military Parade). In an election year, the Gran Parada Militar del Perú is the day on which new president is sworn in. Each year, before the military parade commences, the Te Deum ceremony is held in the Lima Cathedral with the mass attended by the President.