Brazilian Historic Holidays

Brazil has a total of 12 national holidays, plus State and local ones. And each one is anxiously anticipated, especially if it will happen (‘cair’) on a Thursday. Most Thursdays holidays turn out to be what Brazilians call ‘feriadão’ (big holiday), which means Friday is ‘killed’ resulting in a 4-days holiday, including the weekend!

Let’s talk about the three main Brazilian historic holidays.

Os três principais feriados históricos brasileiros:

21 de abril – Tiradentes

Tiradentes is a historical figure and considered a national hero. He participated in a movement called ‘Inconfidência Mineira’, fighting for the independence of Brazil from Portugal during a period of many taxes and few rights. The most spoken tax was ‘the fifth’ (o quinto): as the state of Minas Gerais was a big gold producer, in those regions citizens had to pay one-fifth of the mined metal to the metropolis. Tiradentes was executed in 1792 on April 21st.

Here is a video with images of the historical city of Tiradentes in the State of Minas Gerais.

7 de setembro – Independência do Brasil

Many events led to the independence of Brazil from Portugal. The coming of the royal Portuguese family to the colony and the following steps towards economic autonomy raised much awareness from the metropolis. After Dom Pedro I refused the request to go back to Portugal and decided any order from the metropolis should be approved by him, the independence was inevitable. On September 7th of 1822, by the margins of the Ipiranga River, he declared Brazil independent from Portugal.

Here you can listen to the Brazilian Independence Anthem. It does contain a few unusual words, but most of it is easy to follow with the subtitles.

15 de novembro – Proclamação da República

Before being a Republic, Brazil was an Empire. Although independent from Portugal, all the decisions were made by Dom Pedro II, emperor at the time. On 15th of November of 1889, the military supported by the middle class and owners of slaves took the power and established the new government. The first Republican president was Marechal Deodoro.

Below is a documentary about Brazilian history with Portuguese subtitles. Have fun!


Wish you the best on your path learning Portuguese! Hope it was useful to you.

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