Dia de la Independencia or Independence Day celebrates the signing of the declaration that gave Argentina independence from Spain on July 9, 1816. Although the declaration was signed, the newly formed congress were at loggerheads about which form of government to adopt. Some delegates wanted a constitutional monarchy, others a centralised republican system and others a federal system. These opposing opinions eventually led to civil war in 1819.
Argentinians also celebrate May 25, the day in 1810 that independence from Spanish colonial rule was declared, as a public holiday, although it took a further six years of struggle for Argentina to finally win independence.
Argentina Independence Day is marked with a noon march along Ave de Mayo in the capital, Buenos Aires. Otherwise, families spend time with family and friends over an asado (traditional Argentine barbecue). In football mad Argentina, however, this year everyone will most likely be spending their day glued to their television sets tuned into the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, bemoaning the fact that Argentina didn't make it to the final round!
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