This month, let Freedom ring! Not only does July see the United States celebrate its independence, but many other countries worldwide do that as well. Like with fireworks, buy one, get many free! Click on any event below to learn more about it.
- 1 July – Canada Day – Canada
Previously known as Dominion Day, this national holiday which commemorates the enacting of the 1867 Constitution Act is often referred to as “Canada’s Birthday.” A fitting name, considering that on this day in 1867 the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Province of Canada joined British North America, giving birth to modern-day Canada.
- 4 July – Independence Day – United States
Also known as the “Fourth of July,” Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Continental Congress, representing the thirteen original colonies, declared to the British Empire that the United States of America was a new nation. The National Day of the United States is celebrated annually with firework displays, parades, barbecues, and many other displays of patriotic freedom.
- 6 July – Eid ul-Fitr – Islam
Also known as the “festival of breaking of the fast,” this day marks the end of Ramadan, and thus the end of the month-long fast for Muslims. In addition to a specific Salat (Islamic Prayer), the day is marked by gatherings of family and friends, traditional dishes, sweets, and gift giving.
- 6 July – Jan Hus Day – Czech Republic
Jan Hus was burned at the stake on this day in 1814 in Prague for preaching opinions diverging from those of the Catholic Church. The religious reformer, whose death spurred new ideas in Europe for religious thinking, is honored annually in the Czech Republic with traditional bonfires and what has become most associated with his legacy, a day off from work.
- 6 July – Anniversary of the Coronation of King Mindaugas – Lithuania
The unification of Lithuania can be traced back to the coronation of King Mindaugas on this day in 1253. Lithuania’s first and only King sought the help of the Teutonic Knights who ruled the southeastern Baltic region for protection against outside attackers. To honor these knights, Mindaugas converted to Catholicism, thus bringing Christianity to Lithuania.
- 9 July – Independence Day – Argentina
Happy 200th birthday, Argentina! The overthrow of Spanish King Ferdinand VII by Napoleon in 1810 allowed early Argentinian settlers to form their first government. Six years later, with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the newly established Argentinian government united the surrounding provinces and officially declared independence on July 9th, 1816.
- 14 July – Bastille Day – France
Known to English speaking countries as Bastille Day, ‘La fête nationale’ or ‘La fête du 14 juillet’ celebrates the storming, by the French Revolutionaries in 1789, of a medieval castle and prison known as La Bastille. More symbolic than strategic, this day marks the end of the monarchy in France and is pivotal in French history. Modern day festivities include military and civilian parades, spectacular fireworks, and flag displays.
- 17 July – Constitution Day – South Korea
Although the Korean peninsula was liberated from Imperial Japanese rule in 1945 at the end of World War II, it wasn’t until 1948 that an election established the National Assembly that would create a constitution and enact a presidential system in South Korea.
- 18 July – Marine Day – Japan
Known to the Japanese as Umi no Hi, meaning Sea Day, this national holiday gives thanks to the bounty of the ocean for its importance to the island nation. Many Japanese take this day as an opportunity to visit and enjoy the beach.
- 18 July – Constitution Day – Uruguay
Brazil and Argentina officially recognized the independence of Uruguay in 1828. Two years later, on July 18, the first constitution came into effect in the capital Montevideo, establishing the country as a republic and implementing a two-chamber general assembly.
- 19 July – Asahna Bucha Day – Thailand
One of Buddhism’s most important festivals, this day commemorates the first sermon given by Buddha following his enlightenment, laying out the sacred four noble truths to his first disciples. Buddhists around the world celebrate this holiday by visiting their ancestral home and attending ceremonies at their temples.
- 21 July – National Day – Belgium
Inspired by the French Revolution (see above), the southern provinces of the United Netherlands seceded from the Dutch to form the Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. On that day, Leopold of Saxe-Cobourg, became the first King of Belgium by swearing allegiance to the new constitution. This national holiday involves a Catholic ceremony as well as parades and a review of the Belgium army by the ruling king.
- 24 July – Simón Bolívar Day – Venezuela
Simón Bolívar, or ‘El Libertador’ as he is known throughout South America, was born into a wealthy and respected family. He was educated in Europe and spent his early years traveling through Spain and France. Upon his return to Caracas in 1810, he aligned himself with the anti-colonial movement, which he would go on to eventually lead, liberating many countries such as Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela. It is these countries that annually honor his birthday with patriotic parades and celebrations.
- 28-29 July – Fiestas Patrias – Peru
These Peruvian National Holidays commemorate Peru’s independence from Spanish rule. The two days of celebration recognize July 28 as the day José de San Martín won independence, while July 29 honors Peru’s Armed Forces and the National Police. It’s a very important time of the year for Peru as it sees an increase in tourism with travelers arriving to join in the celebrations.