Brazil’s Independence Day, September 7 – Brazil became independent from Portugal in 1822 – is celebrated annually with parades around the country. This year’s parade in the capital Brasília is expected to attract 30,000 people.
Military units will march along with students from military and public schools. There will be presentations of Brazilian folk groups among them “quadrilha junina” – a kind of square dance; a traditional “Gaúcha” group; a “bumba meu boi” display and huge Carnaval dolls from Brasilia.
Military vehicles will also be a part of the parade. The grand finale will be a series of flybys by the Air Force acrobatic squadron known as the Esquadrão da Fumaça (Smoke Squadron).
The parade will last around an hour and a half. There is covered seating for 20,000, important during the dry season in Brasília when the sun boils and humidity is around 20%.
This will be president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s last September 7th parade as president. As usual, before the marching, he will review the troops.
In the planned city of Brasília, the heart of the government is the Three Powers Plaza (Praça dos Três Poderes), where the Congress, the Supreme Court and the Palácio do Planalto (presidential office) are all located.
Waving above the plaza is a huge Brazilian flag on top of a mast that is 110 meters high. Symbolically, the flag is higher than any other building in the city. On the first Sunday of each month the flag is changed. Responsibility for the flag changing ceremony rotates among the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force).
This month the ceremony, on September 5, was run by the Navy and the minister of Defense, Nelson Jobim, participated. As Brazilian Independence Day is on Tuesday, September 7, this month’s ceremony was a little more elaborate than usual, with bands and a parade.
There were also many more people than usual, in spite of the heat and low humidity, who came to see the ceremony.
Brazil’s Federal Election Commission (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral – TSE) received requests for troops in 151 Brazilian municipalities for the national elections to be held in October 3, which will elect a new president as well as several other officials like senators, representatives, governors and mayors.
The TSE, pursuant to the Election Code (Código Eleitoral), is permitted to order the presence of soldiers to “guarantee calm in the voting and counting of the results.” The TSE approved the presence of soldiers in 120 municipalities.
The largest number of requests for voting day protection came from the state of Pará – the state wanted troops to keep the peace in 106 municipalities, but not all of them were granted.
Soldiers will be present in 23 municipalities in the states of Amapá (11), Rondônia (10) and Tocantins (2) – most of these locations are Indian villages.