Tiradentes Day: Brazil National Holiday
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Tiradentes Day: Brazil National Holiday

2 min read

Apr 21, 2015

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By Laurie Liaume

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Last updated on December 28th, 2020 at 02:31 pm

What is Tiradentes Day?

Many travelers on a tour of Brazil include Tiradentes in their itinerary. It’s a great idea to do so, especially if you’re traveling during Tiradentes Day! Tiradentes Day is a Brazilian national holiday. Locals celebrate on the 21st of April to commemorate the martyrdom of Joaquim Jose Da Silva Xavier. Joaquim Jose de Silva Xavier is a Brazilian hero that played an integral role in the Brazilian revolutionary movement.

History of Tiradentes Day

Tiradentes distant shot of town on hill

During the 18th century, the gold mining industry was in decline. Brazilians were struggling to stay afloat. Xavier saw his country hurting. But, the French Revolution gave him inspiration. He began planning a liberation movement, the Inconfidencia Mineira, in his hometown Minas Gerais. The liberation was to seek Brazil’s freedom from Portugal. His plan was to take on the streets with other revolutionary enthusiasts on the day that taxes were due. However, the Portuguese authorities discovered Xavier’s plan and he was arrested.

Xavier was put on trial for over 3 years until April 21st, 1972. This is when the authorities chose to publicly execute him. Xavier’s ideas influenced Brazilian political thinking. They played a significant role in their fight for independence. It wasn’t until three decades after Xavier’s death that Brazil gained independence and Xavier became a national hero.

Why is it called “Tiradentes Day”?

Many people didn’t know that Xavier was an educated dentist.  During trial his nickname became “Tiradentes” which means, “tooth puller” in Portuguese.

How do Brazilian’s celebrate the Holiday?

On Tiradentes Day, government officials pay tribute to Joaquim Jose de Silva Xavier. They gather around his monument in Praca Tiradentes.  Tiradentes day is not the most popular holiday in Brazil, but it is still important to reflect on Xavier’s role in Brazil’s independence.

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Last updated on December 28th, 2020 at 02:31 pm

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