The Battle of Pichincha – A War of Independence
If you happen to visit Ecuador around the 24th of May, you will notice that locals are preparing to celebrate a certain festivity. This is the day of the Battle of Pichincha, a battle which took place nearly 200 years ago, in 1822.
The battle was a very important one in the country’s history and so it is commemorated every year on the anniversary of the day on which it took place – May 24. The battle was fought on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano – hence the name – and today you will find that this is right next to the city of Quito and at an elevation of roughly 3500 meters above sea level.
This historic battle brought about the liberation of Quito as well as the many different Ecuadorian provinces which were grouped together administratively under the colonial government. In it General Antonio José de Sucre, who fought for the Patriot army, came to clash with a Royalist army under the command of Field Marshall Melchor Aymerich. The battle was one of many which were later given the name ‘the South American Wars of Independence’ and just as with many other South American countries it was the patriot army which was victorious.
As a result of the battle, the people of Quito were able to claim independence and set up their own government which later came to encompass all the administrative jurisdictions which had been grouped with Quito. The people called their new home the Republic of Ecuador and started a new and exciting chapter in their own lives and the history of their country.
This is not one of the most dazzling of local festivals, but it is one of national pride. On the 24th of May, both the military and many civilians do their utmost to put on a public display of national pride. The result is definitely worth seeing as parades, airplane shows and other activities all convey a strong sense of Ecuadorian nationalism. Of course, the best activities take place at Pichincha volcano so if you really want to get a good idea of festival activities then Pichincha is the one of best places to visit.