The Spanish Language Blog

Equador, the Spanish name for the word Equator. As such, the country lies on the zero line that divides the world into the northern and southern hemispheres. It is surrounded by Peru, Colombia and the Pacific Ocean. The country has a thriving tradition of national holidays, festivals and celebrations. Colorful and lavish celebrations occur monthly and are part of Ecuadorian culture. These holidays often center on the country's history. Every year on May 24, the people of Ecuador celebrate their independence and commemorate the defeat of the Spanish in 1822. This event is known as the “Battle of Pichincha".

  • The Battle of Pichincha is the last battle of the independence struggle between Spain and Ecuador. Every year on May 24, the people commemorate this battle and celebrate their freedom.
  • The name “Battle of Pichincha” comes from the volcano Pichincha, which is located next to the capital Quito. The battle took place on the slopes of the volcano, hence the name.
  • The celebrations on May 24 consist of parades with children or with military personnel in the larger cities. Through this parade, Ecuadorians honor the country's history and show their pride. There is also much partying, drinking and, above all, enjoying the day off.

Ecuador was first conquered by the Spanish in 1534 under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro. They founded the city “Muy noble y muy leal ciudad de San Francisco de Quito” the very high and very loyal city of St. Francis of Quito, which is now the present capital city of Quito. Through the Spanish occupation, Quito grew into a city of more than 10,000 inhabitants. Despite the growth, the city first proclaimed independence in 1809.

The battle of Pichincha dates back to the year 1822 when the Ecuadorian independence fighters defeated the Spanish army on the slopes of the volcano Pichincha. This volcano is located next to the capital Quito at 3,500 meters above sea level and is still active. After this military victory, the country joined the republic of Greater Columbia until 1830, when the republic fell apart. Officially, then, Ecuador became an independent republic in 1830, but the Equadorian people consider May 24 to be the true Independence Day.

On May 24 in Ecuador

On May 24, then, all of Ecuador and also the tropical Galapos Islands are in a celebratory mood. Schoolchildren march in their school uniforms through the smaller towns and honor the country's history. In the larger cities there are military parades and they are watched by tourists, visitors and the Equadorian people themselves. In the Galapos Islands, there is a special parade. This parade is also walked by school children in uniform, but the student with the highest average gets the privilege of carrying the Equadorian flag. This is quite an honor and people work all year for it.

Ecuador's Independence Day is not the country's most fascinating holiday, but it does showcase the country's history and the pride of its people. It is a perfect opportunity to mingle among the locals and if you do travel through Equador or the Galapos Islands during this day, find a hole in your itinerary and stop for a moment to enjoy this historic day.

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