A Real Puerto Rican Celebration: the Birthday of José de Diego
Colorful and animated dancers, frolicsome revelers, and the rhythmic, driving beat of traditional music await both visitors and locals alike at the celebration of one of the most important holidays in Puerto Rico - the birthday of José de Diego. An annual day of festive revelry, food, drink, history, and culture, schools and businesses close for the day, and people come together to honor the birthday of this revered statesman and native son.
Born on April 16, 1966 and famous as the “Father of the Puerto Rican Independence Movement,” José de Diego (born José de Diego y Martínez) was one of the earliest champions for Puerto Rico’s independence from Spain. Diego was also a beloved political leader and a poet, and was the author of several books of poetry that secured his place in the modern Puerto Rican poetry movement. Although Diego’s actual birthday is on the 16th, it is always commemorated annually as an official holiday on the third Monday of each April.