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Public holidays in Uruguay

The following are public holidays in Uruguay.

Date English name Spanish name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day Año Nuevo
January 6 Children's Day Día de los Niños In place of Epiphany (Día de Reyes).
moveable in late February or early March Carnival Carnaval
moveable in late March or early April Tourism Week Semana de Turismo In place of Christian Holy Week (Semana Santa).
April 19 Landing of the 33 Patriots Day Desembarco de los 33 Orientales
May 1 International Workers' Day Día de los Trabajadores
May 18 Battle of Las Piedras Batalla de las Piedras
June 19 Birthday of José Gervasio Artigas Natalicio de Artigas
July 18 Constitution Day Jura de la Constitución To commemorate the promulgation of the First Constitution of Uruguay in 1830.
August 25 Independence Day Declaratoria de la Independencia From the Empire of Brazil in 1825.
October 12 Day of the race (Columbus Day) Día de la Raza
November 2 Deceased ones day Día de los Difuntos
December 25 Day of the Family Día de la Familia In place of Christmas (Navidad), although it is mostly known as and celebrated by this name instead of the non-religious one.

Only 5 of these holidays (January 1, May 1, July 18, August 25 and December 25) imply a mandatory paid leave for workers. Most of the other days are only observed by schools and some public sector offices.

Moveable holidays

According to Uruguayan Law 16,805 with modifications of Law 17,414, the holidays declared by law, subject to the commemoration of them, follow the following scheme (whose commemoration as “moveable holidays”):

  • If coincide on Saturday, Sunday or Monday will be observed in those days.
  • If occur on Tuesday or Wednesday, will be observed on Monday immediately preceding.
  • If occur on Thursday or Friday shall be observed on the Monday immediately following

This will not occur with Carnival and Tourism Week, and corresponding to January 1 and 6, May 1, June 19, July 18, August 25, November 2 and December 25, which will continue watching on the day of the week that may occur, whatever the same.

Independence Day

Historian Leonardo Borges argues that Independence Day, celebrated on August 25, does not reflect the actual birth of the nation. When the independence of the Brazilian Empire and the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata was signed on August 25, 1825, Uruguay remained part of Argentina, the Banda Oriental. Borges says that "[I]t seems like nonsense" to establish August 25 as Independence Day. Ana Ribeiro, Undersecretary of Education and Culture, argues that all such dates are arbitrary, and points out that Bastille Day does not celebrate the determining date of the French Revolution.

The Treaty of Montevideo, signed on August 27, 1828, and ratified on October 4 of the same year, after the Cisplatine War, granted independence to Banda Oriental, which became Uruguay.

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