Quick Facts : Tiradentes Day
- Date: Apr 21, 2017
- Also Called:
- Celebrations: Public Functions
Tiradentes Day is celebrated every year on 21st April in Brazil. The day is celebrated to commemorate the death of Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier, also known as Tiradentes.
The history of the Tiradentes Day in Brazil dates back to the Portugal era. During Portuguese rule in the country, the Portugal government levied heavy taxes on Brazilians despite low gold mining activity. Oppressed by the rule and inspired by the French Revolution, it was Joaquim Xavier who decided to start a liberation movement called Inconfidencia Mineira. The movment was meant to gain complete freedom from Portuguese rule.
Joaquim Xavier was a dentist by profession, and hence, the name Tiradentes, which is Brazilian for "Tooth Puller". As part of the liberation movement, it was decided that people would take to the streets on the day when tax was due, claiming complete independence from Portuguese rule. However, the plan was thwarted by Portuguese authorities and the rebels were taken into custody. It was Tiradentes who claimed full responsibility for the movement. After being tried for 3 years, he was hanged to death on April 21st, 1792.
Three decades after his death, Brazil was declared a republic and it was then that Tiradentes was declared a national hero. From 19th century onwards, 21st April is celebrated as the Tiradentes Day to celebrate the martyrdom of Tiradentes.
This day is a public holiday in Brazil with all government offices, schools as well as banks closed on this day. Government officials holding high positions pay tribute to Tiradentes on this day at Praca Tiradentes, a national monument dedicated to Tiradentes. The tributes are followed by an official government speech dedicated to the martyrdom of Tiradentes. There are not much celebrations as such on this day. Most Brazilizns choose to spend their day at home on this national holiday.