August 7 – Battle of Boyacá Day in Colombia

Posted on August 7, 2018

In the early 1700s, the northern part of South America - where we now see Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - was joined together with the very southernmost part of North America - Panama - to make up a Spanish-ruled territory called New Grenada. 

And on this date in 1819, Simon Bolivar's forces won a very important battle that led to the independence of New Grenada from Spain!

The Battle of Boyacá was confusing for me to read about, because Bolivar's side - the side wanting independence - is called different names in different write-ups: the Independist Army, the Newgranadians, the republican army, the rebels, and the Patriot Army. The other side - the side wanting New Grenada to stay a Spanish colony - is also called several different names: the Spaniards, the Royalists, the Loyalists, and the Newgranadians.

Note that people of New Granada - those called Newgranadians - fought on both sides of this battle. Like other bits of human history, battles for independence don't always look like obvious good ideas, and they certainly don't look like grand moral imperatives. Different people who care about their country and their people still disagree on what is best, and even when they share a particular goal, they don't always agree on the best way to achieve that goal. 

So, naturally, some people thought it was best to be loyal to tradition and to the current laws. Others thought it was best to fight for freedom and independence from a far-away king.

Today is a patriotic holiday in Colombia. Some of the parades and festivities center on the bridge of Boyacá.

This statue of Simon Bolivar stands on a pivotal
spot of the Battle of Boyacá.

In the foreground, students make a Columbian
flag by wearing yellow, blue, and red.

Check out some of the beautiful sights of Colombia:

The amazing Las Lajas cathedral:

Charming towns, like Cartagena:

Beautiful beach landscapes:

Lush jungle landscapes:

And this amazing river, which is called Caño Cristales, and also the River of Five Colors and the Liquid Rainbow. The colors only appear during the certain months (June through November) and are caused by plants. The water itself is very clear.

Also on this date:

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