Revolution Day is a national holiday observed in different countries, similar to Foundation, Independence and National Days. Revolution Day commemorates an important event in the nation that started a revolution and brought significant political change to the country. Click here for more information about this day
Guatemala celebrates their Revolution Day on October 20th every year. This holiday commemorates an important shift in politics and human rights that occurred within the country in 1944.
History of Guatemala’s Revolution Day
For a large amount of its history, Guatemala was under the rule of unpopular dictators that seized power. In 1944, the dictator at the time was Jorge Ubico, an aggressive ruler that drew inspiration from the famous French ruler, Napoleon Bonaparte. In the spring of that year, Guatemalan teachers, students, and craftsmen banded together to push back against Ubico’s rule. Peaceful protests were met with military force and hundreds of protestors died. With the help of military leaders, protestors were able to peacefully overthrow Ubico on October 20th of the same year. The first free election in the nation’s history was then held and Juan Jose Arevalo, who implemented several agriculture and labor reforms that benefited the people.
The Importance of Guatemala’s Revolution Day
Revolution Day is important in the scope of Guatemalan politics and human rights. The protestors that outed Ubico called for four fundamental freedom: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. The time period following the revolution is known as the Ten Years of Spring, for it was a time of positive reform and activism for human rights. To Guatemalans, it is important to remember this time in history and learn from it for the present and the future.
Celebrating Revolution Day
Much like on other holidays, Guatemalans celebrate this day with music playing in the streets and fireworks lighting up the sky, relieving stress among the people. Many, however, take to the streets in the form of protest. The demonstrations are usually based on topics such as reform and human rights, since those are what the revolutionaries in 1944 fought for. These protests usually consist of farmers, teachers, and human right activists.