Of course, many in our community overseas celebrate their Independence Day sometime other than today. We’d like to recognize a few of those:
El Salvador annually celebrates its independence from Spain on Sept. 15.
This celebration is called the “Central American Independence” because Central America was under the domain of Spain and its countries reached their independence at the same time.
For this celebration, thousands of students from public and private schools participate in the “independence parade,” organized in every major city or town.
They march to the rhythm of “peace bands” playing folk, classic and modern songs, as well as dances, acrobatics and cheerleading routines. People fill the streets with flags and smiles.
Like El Salvador, Guatemala celebrates its independence day on Sept. 15. Many schools, buildings and buses are decorated with nationalistic images: the white-and-blue flag, quetzal (national bird) and monja blanca (national flower).
Students have parades with marching bands as they sing the national anthem, with cultural presentations and firecrackers. The army participates with a military parade and air shows, usually in front of the national palace and with the president.
On Sept. 14, a night parade takes place where people light the “independence torch” in their communities. The streets are decorated with balloons and white-and-blue ornaments, with children and adults waving plastic Guatemalan flags.
India celebrates its independence from the United Kingdom on Aug. 15. Every city has a flag-hoisting ceremony where schoolchildren gather to sing the national anthem and watch the hoisting of the flag.
Sweets such as laddu are also distributed. Children in school competitions read compositions about India’s freedom fighters. Unlike in the U.S., fireworks aren’t common except in certain towns.