Uruguay has a host of lively festivals which offer visitors wonderful insight into this colorful nation. Many Uruguay Holidays and Festivals are religious in nature, such as Epiphany and Holy Week, but the country also observes regular holidays such as New Year’s Day and Labor Day, while Independence Day in August marks the country’s break from the strict rule of the Empire of Brazil back in the early 1800’s.
The Lemanja Festival of the Goddess of the Sea is one of Uruguay's major festivals. It is observed on February 2nd at two different locations - Punta Del Este and Montevideo. Devotees attend this celebration to show their reverence to Lemanja and to also receive her blessings. Those who attend the festival traditionally bring offerings such as flowers, candles and watermelons to present to the goddess. Some people even create sand sculptures or craft small boats designed to carry candles, fruits, money or a sculpture of the goddess. You'll most commonly find those who are celebrating the festival dressed in light blue or white.
The La Fiesta Patria Gaucha celebration takes place in Tacuarembo, which is in northern Uruguay. Celebrated during the second week of March, this festival is attended by Gauchos, Uruguay's cowboys, in addition to people from all areas of the country. You'll find plenty of fun competitions, traditional food cooked barbeque style, folklore music, dancing, poetry performances, and parades. The event is quite colorful and festive, with attendees dressed in colorful traditional attire. This celebration is known for being the largest South American festival.