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Paraguay Independence Day

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Paraguay Independence Day
May 14 and 15
Paraguayans set aside two days to celebrate their independence from Spain, which they won on May 14, 1811, after a bloodless revolution led by Dr. JosÉ Gaspar Rodríguez Francia (1766-1840). Dr. Francia was also instrumental in the design of Paraguay's flag, which is the only national flag in the world that is different on both sides.
The most elaborate Independence Day parade is in the capital, Asunción. People may wear traditional clothes as they stroll down the streets: for the men, fancy shirts, broad-brimmed straw hats, ponchos, a faja (sash) around the waist, and full trousers known as bombachas ; for the women, blouses with lace inserts and brightly colored embroidery, full skirts with many layers of petticoats underneath, and a rebozo or shawl similar to the Spanish mantilla. Sopa Paraguay, a traditional Independence Day dish, is served on this day because it is only on special occasions that the poor can afford to buy the eggs and cheese that go into the soup.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of Paraguay
2400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-483-6960; fax: 202-234-4508
www.embaparusa.gov.py
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 82
NatlHolWrld-1968, p. 62


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