¡Feliz día de la Constitución!
Today, 25th July, marks Puerto Rico Constitution Day.
On this day each year Puerto Ricans celebrate and commemorate the anniversary of the change from territory to commonwealth, which led to the adoption of a new constitution in 1952.
The constitution was confirmed on 3rd March, approved by the US congress on 3rd July and became effective on 25th July. It has a set of nine articles, very similar to the US constitution and is a great source of pride for the Puerto Ricans.
Puerto Rico is now a self-governing commonwealth in association with the United States. The President of the United States of America is the chief of state, an elected Governor is the head of government and there are two legislative chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Although most people consider 25th July a liberation day, there are still some people who consider it a US invasion.
Prior to 1952, 25th July had been celebrated as ‘Occupational day’, which commemorated the invasion of the US military in an area of the Yauco municipality in 1898. It was a Spanish American war, but the Americans found little opposition.
Spanish forces soon retreated and at the end of the war the Treaty of Paris stated that Spain was to surrender Puerto Rico to the USA. Puerto Rico’s autonomous government was then officially changed to an American military government.
Puerto Rico has been through a great number of political transformations over the years, particularly between 1950 and 1980, when the mainly agricultural economy became much more industrialised. During this time, literacy improved and Puerto Ricans have become extremely successful in many walks of life, including film, music and sport.
Puerto Ricans celebrate 25th July, which is now a legal holiday, with parades, fireworks, parties and speeches during the commemorative ceremony.
Does your country have a Constitution day? How do you celebrate? Let us know via the comment box below.
To find out more about Spanish and our Spanish translation services, click here.