Here in the south the month begins with the celebration of independence from Portugal and ends with the celebration of a lost war for independence against the rest of Brazil.

The 20th of September. For gauchos, the demonym for people from Rio Grande do Sul (the most southern state in Brazil), this day is even more important than Independence Day. It is a day to celebrate the southern culture and oddly, their lost war.

The Farroupilha War began on September 20, 1835 when one person from the south fired against the opposing Brazilians and his fellow gauchos said, “Meh, alright. Let’s start a war.” While obviously an exaggeration and economic differences between Rio Grande do Sul and the rest of the country are to blaim, this is more or less the explanation I got. The war lasted ten years and thankfully the south lost, is still part of Brazil, and these gauchos are still speaking Portuguese!

Nowadays gauchos from all over the state congregate at “Acampamento Farroupilha,” a month-long celebration/campout with all of the necessities for gaucho culture. Chimarrão, churrasco, music, typical clothing, and some horses are not to be missed!


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