Constitution Day in Uruguay is held on 18 July each year celebrating the day that the constitution was first adopted in 1830. Although the initial constitution was signed in 1830, the commemoration is for the constitution adopted in 1967.
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During the 1800s, Uruguay was occupied by Britain, but the country suffered under conflicts between Britain and Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil over the years. In 1825, Uruguay declared independence and was recognised as an independent nation in 1828.
The initial constitution was adopted in 1830. The country used the new constitutions of the United States and France as a basis for their own document. The government was divided into three branches, similar to the United States although the country did establish an official religion, naming Roman Catholicism as the official religion of Uruguay.
The new constitution ratified in 1951 eliminated the official religion so that religious freedom was guaranteed. Like the United States, Uruguay separates church and state. New constitutions have been adopted in Uruguay several times with a final version adopted in 1997.
Celebrations and Traditions
Like most nations who celebrate the independence of their country, Constitution Day in Uruguay is celebrated with ceremonies and speeches by country leaders. There are parades and the playing of the national anthem. Many smaller towns and villages arrange special festivals that include native dress, foods and drinks.
There may also be demonstrations of native dances and folk music designed to recognise the fight for freedom throughout Uruguay. The largest celebration is held in the capital city of Montevideo with marches, parades, open-air concerts and other festivities.