Celebrated on the 24th of May each year, the date of the Battle of Pichincha is a national holiday in Ecuador. The battle was the last for independence in Ecuador.
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On 22 May 1822, rebels led by Antonio Jose de Sucre achieved victory over Spanish royalists on the lower slopes of Cerro Pichincha, a volcano. The battle allowed rebels to occupy Quito Ecuador and, the following day, Simon Bolivar was proclaimed the liberator of the country. At that time, Ecuador joined the Republic of Gran Colombia.
Celebrations and Traditions
In celebration of the battle which earned them their independence, parades are held in towns and villages throughout the country. Students march in school uniforms and the student with the highest grade in their class carries the Ecuadorian flag, leading their class in the parade in some towns.
In larger cities, parades include members of the military. On the volcano where the battle occurred, special programs are offered, including an air show.
Throughout Ecuador, there are festivals and celebrations designed to recognise the importance of the battle. It is a day of national pride and patriotism with many festivals featuring citizens in native dress, traditional music and dances as well as foods that are unique to Ecuador. Public offices, schools and many businesses are closed in celebration of the public holiday.