Colombia Independence Day

Colombia Independence Day

July 20
On the day that they celebrate their independence from Spain, Colombians in the capital city of Bogotá often visit an historic place known as La Casa del Florero (The House of the Flowerpot). It was here, in the 19th century, that a Colombian storekeeper was asked to lend a large flowerpot to the Spaniards for an important occasion. Rather than let them use it, he broke the flowerpot. A riot ensued—the beginning of the revolt against Spain.
There are Independence Day parades throughout the country on July 20, some with uniformed cavalry performing acrobatic feats on horseback. Schoolchildren march in their uniforms, and dancers perform in the costumes of their region. In the afternoon, people watch athletic games and listen to singing groups perform their favorite folk songs. Because July is a winter month in Colombia, almost everyone wears ruanas, which are square shawls of brightly colored wool with a slit in the center for the head, and alpargates, or rope-soled canvas sandals.
When Colombia first became a republic in 1819, it included Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama as well. Venezuela and Ecuador became separate states in 1830, and Panama withdrew in 1903.
CONTACTS:
Colombian Embassy
2118 Leroy Pl. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-387-8338; fax: 202-232-8643
www.colombiaemb.org
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 120
NatlHolWrld-1968, p. 117