September is when Independence Day in Guatemala is celebrated. The year 2020 will mark 199 years of independence. The majority of Guatemalans believe that this event was a liberation from Spain but some historians argue that the separation had more to do with the economic interests of a small group of Guatemalan commercial oligarch. They wanted to break the commercial monopoly with Spain but preserve the established economic system. This is why indigenous groups and women were excluded from the separation process. The truth is that that the September 15th date was only the beginning of an independence process that would end on March 21, 1847, when Guatemala would be a free and a sovereign Republic.
Despite the fact that the educational sector has failed to teach the full history, the celebrations during Independence Day in Guatemala are always in full flow. There are school parades in the morning which the children have been rehearsing for non-stop leading up to the independence celebrations. The whole country is filled with white and blue flags and there are marimbas and concerts all night in every town. Food of course also plays a very important role where you can eat tortillas, tostadas, tacos and other traditional foods. Then at midnight on the 14th is grand spectacular which are the fireworks. Whichever town you are in you will see the night sky lit up with fireworks. The party then carries on until you can no longer stand up.
Unfortunately, in 2020, due to the pandemic the authorities understandably suspended all activities during Independence Day in Guatemala. There will be no school parades, civic activities, concerts and other forms of celebrations. It will be very different and will probably change the pattern of future celebrations. However, this will not affect the way Guatemalans love their beautiful country!
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