Dois de Julho: Heroes of Bahian Independence

Dois de Julho (July 2nd) is a big holiday in the city of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. The center of the city shuts down to make room for a parade celebrating the Caboclo, street parties, and capoeira rodas. On this day in 1823, Brazilian troops definitively expelled Portuguese troops from the country.

The Bahian newspaper, O Correio, published a special edition to celebrate this special day. The edition included a section on the heroes of the battles for independence. Today, streets and neighborhood squares across the city are named after these baianos in honor of their patriotism.

Nobody defeats us: A symbol of the Brazilian people. The caboclo raises the country’s flag and combines all the cultures that make up the nation. He is a mix of the major ethnicities: blacks, whites and Indians, together in a single representation. It was the Caboclo who led and inspired the Bahians in the struggle to liberate their country: tyrants do not have Brazilian hearts!

Maria Felipa
Warrior lioness: Maria Felipa was a capoeirista and led a squadron of forty women on the Island of Itaparica. One of the leading soliders, she set fire to 42 Portuguese ships with her friends. A fearsome woman, she beat captured enemy soldiers. .

Maria Quitéria
A worthy woman: She dressed as a soldier so that she could go into battle. She fought at the Battle of the Parakeets on the Island of Maré, Pituba and Itapuã. In the battle at Pituba, she was one of the best on the battlefield: she attacked trenches and escorted prisoners to the camp.

Antonio Rebouças
Black leader: Antonio Pereira was an abolitionist. A warrior against racism. His favorite saying came to be on battlefield: “anyone brown or black can be a general”. In fact, commanding the battles were many afro-descendents, sertenejos, and even indigenous people.

Encourado de Pedrão
The claws of the sertão: Pedrão is a small city, located near Feira de Santana, that all Brazilians should visit. The warriors dressed in leather came from Pedrão, and are represented in the parade in Salvador every year in this traditional garb.

Corneterio Lopes
Vuvuzela of victory: In the Battle of Pirajá, the Brazilian troops were under pressure. In the kill-or-be-killed battle, the Commander Barros Falção ordered a retreat, but the coronet player Luís Lopes played the signal to advance and kill. It worked: we won!

Other heroes included in the commemoration are Joana Angélica, Lord Cochrane, João de Botas and many more.

Parabéns, Bahia!

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