1822 Special, Ep. 4: Pomp under circumstance

In this fourth and final episode, we shed light on the multiple "Independence Days" across Brazil, each with its own significance

Since the fall of the monarchy and the declaration of the Brazilian Republic in 1889, every year on September 7, the military has held an Independence Day parade. Troops from every branch of the Armed Forces march down the streets of Rio de Janeiro or Brasília, with military bands pounding out the national anthem.

The grandeur of this yearly commemoration has become a staple of national festivity in Brazil. A day of victory, liberty, and glorious patriotism — but a celebration that contradicts the actual events of Brazil’s Independence Day in 1822. As we described in episode 2, the first September 7 was little more than a largely insignificant, reactionary declaration made by a sickly king sitting atop a mule. 

Over the years and throughout the different regimes that have ruled Brazil, September 7 celebrations have changed in appearance and significance. In fact, it wasn’t even Brazil’s first national independence day, although it’s the only one commemorated today.

In this special mini-series, we walk you through the eccentricities and myths of this period, its legacies in the country 200 years later, and how Brazil became Brazil.

In this fourth and final episode, we shed light on the multiple “Independence Days” across Brazil, each with their own significance.

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Narrated by:

  • Caroline Coutinho is a social media journalist with experience in data analysis and video production. She has a master’s degree in journalism and international affairs from Sciences Po, Paris. Her stories primarily focus on Latin American politics, women’s rights, environmental, and societal issues. 

Written and produced by:

  • Eric Zalcman is a student at SciencesPo. Paris and joined The Brazilian Report for an internship in July 2022.

Edited by :

  • Euan Marshall is the editor of The Brazilian Report. Originally from Glasgow, Scotland, he has been working in Brazil since 2011 as a journalist and translator. His work has been published by outlets such as The Telegraph, Jacobin, Al Jazeera, and Art Review.

This episode used music from Uppbeat. License codes: Y7XYOVQQZSFTFUMV. The soundtrack for this podcast series includes: Iron Horse – Silent Film Dark, of Kevin MacLeod (CC-YouTube Audio Library);

Background reading:

  • Brazil will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its independence from Portugal on September 7. But there is little enthusiasm around the date, amid fears that it may instead be marked by a pro-Bolsonaro uprising against democratic institutions.