Navy Day in Chile

Navy Day Chile

What is Navy Day

A day recognizes Captain Arturo Prat and the board of the Esmeralda, whose courage and heroism ignited the Chilean revolution in a tactical conflict with Peru.

Navy Day - All Quick Overview

  • Time/Date: May 21
  • Category: Federal
  • Where it’s Marked: Chile
  • Why it’s Marked: The Battle of Iquique occurred on this day in 1879, which is memorialized by the event.

History of Navy Day

On that day, the Chilean Navy lost significant combat in their protracted territorial dispute with Bolivia and Peru, a momentous event in Chilean history that is commemorated on Navy Day. It was rendered noteworthy by the courage and tenacity of a tiny crew living aboard the Chilean ship, the Esmeralda, who risked their lives in quest of their objective and motivated hordes of Chileans to adopt the cause and defend their nation.

The War of the Pacific appeared to have developed from a tax disagreement between Chile, Bolivia, and Bolivia's ally Peru. But according to historians, the conflict between the three countries and a long-running border dispute ultimately led to the outbreak of the war in 1879. Chile sealed the Peruvian harbor of Iquique with the Covadonga and the Esmeralda after realizing the importance of the maritime lanes. In retaliation, Peru sent two additional contemporary warships to overcome the embargo within a fortnight. These ships were better able to deal with significant harm.

Although the Independencia, the second Peruvian cruiser, barricaded the Covadonga, Captain Arturo Prat, captain of the Esmerelda, decided not to flee and defended his position against the Huáscar. Prat continued to persevere and, in a desperate attempt to usurp the Huáscar, ascended the ship with other of his fellow Marines. They failed, and half the crew was massacred on the platform as the Esmerelda collapsed. Esmerelda suffered extensive damage and three rammings throughout the fight.

To prevent it from falling into enemy hands or declaring victory, Prat's next in charge assumed control and issued the directive to sink the Esmeralda. Only 57 of its 200 sailors made it out alive, primarily thanks to the Huáscar, who evacuated everyone, much to their dismay.

Prat's passing served as a clarion call, inspiring hundreds of young people to enlist in the Chilean naval and ultimately bringing triumph to that nation. His visage appears on the 10,000 Chilean peso notes, and the holiday known as Navy Day is held in his tribute. He is considered a true patriot.

How to Celebrate Navy Day 

In addition to political authorities' statements, there are a plethora of military parades, sporting activities, and micro in Chile. People dressed in formal garb paid homage to Arturo Prat and his companions, who served in the Chilean Navy.

Chilean Navy Day was essentially observed for the first time virtually on May 21, 2020. The event has already been commemorated with a Westminster Abbey service. 

Inaugural Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff of the Royal Navy, Admiral Tony Radakin CB ADC, gave a speech to commemorate the first online Chilean Navy Day and the long-standing bond between British and Chilean Navies.

Countries that Observe Navy Day

Aside from Chile observing Navy Day, Peru also celebrates it on a small scale in some regions regarding its naval soldiers' bravery and traditionally honors them in small-scale ceremonies. 

Interesting Facts about Navy Day 

Let's turn into some mind-boggling facts regarding this exciting range of combats between the two countries that we're sure will be of some exciting news to you. 

  • Chile features 130 Esmeralda alleys and 144 Arturo Prat avenues. 
  • One of the earliest opening engagements in the Pacific War was the Battle of Iquique.
  • Many people enlisted in the military because they wanted to exact revenge on the person who killed a martyr.
  • A private note praising Prat's heroism was delivered to his wife, together with his journal, clothing, and weapon.
  • Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario, an adversary of Prat, issued the directive to bury the Chileans in Iquique.
  • When Prat was still an undergraduate at the Naval Academy in 1860, Prat initially joined the vessel as a maritime trainee. 
  • Chilean press started writing about Prat's untimely popularity under the name "Pratiotism" rather than "Patriotism." 
  • Prat attended the Navy Academy and graduated from law school while a naval cadet on deck the Esmeralda. 
  • The Chilean army planned to deploy northeast of the city. They hoped to recapture Antofagasta.
  • After Prat's passing, the conflict became more personal for the general public, who initially saw it as a safeguard of tremendous business.
  • Let's board, boys! Arturo Prat yelled from the collapsing Esmeralda as he jumped onto the Huáscar. Only one inferior, however, did so. The remainder rejected the command.
  • Prat also spent some time as an educator, sharing his knowledge with the young folks at the Benjamin Franklin School in the Chilean city of Valparaiso, which addressed the necessities of the underprivileged.

Unique Navy Day Celebration Ideas 

As well as attending parades, flying flags, and visiting cemeteries on Navy Day, here are a few additional suggestions for paying tribute to those who lost their lives in battle.

  • Show gratitude.
  • Light up a candle.
  • Read a veteran history.
  • Display the Chilean Flag.
  • Engage in the monetary donation.
  • Visit a national cemetery or memorial.
  • Take a moment of quiet for two minutes.
  • Create a playlist that screams patriotism.
  • Make prayers for the ones sacrificed and the nation.
  • Reach out with your thoughts to the successors of the sacrificed.
  • Construct a menu, a guidebook, or a feeding schedule using combat provisions.
  • You might also sponsor a military veterans' grave in your neighborhood. 
  • With a neighborhood organization or at your institution, organize and participate in a dedication service.
  • Utilize imagery from electronic information, antiques, newspapers, and photographs to create a display of wartime relics.
  • To honor a local Veteran's inheritance, get in touch with your local council and look into the idea of renaming a new or already existing boulevard.

Navy Day Quotes 

These wartime quotes are the ideal approach to express our gratitude for the courageous men and women who serve our country.

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste death but once.” - William Shakespeare

“Brave men rejoice in adversity, just as brave soldiers triumph in war.” - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“To command is to serve, nothing more and nothing less.” - Andre Malraux


1. What was the name of the founder of the Chilean Navy?

General Bernardo O'Higgins was the name of the founder. 

2. Does Chile have a potent armed force?

They are one of Latin America's significant technologically developed and professional forces. 

3. What kind of clothing should be followed on the observance of Navy Day?

Many people wear traditional attire as a sign of pride in their country.

4. What kind of traditional food is said to have been consumed on Navy Day?

Generally, the citizens celebrate this day by indulging in the drink La Fuerza. 

5. Which holiday is the most celebrated in Chile? 

The most well-known holiday is "Fiestas Patrias," or Independence Day, observed on September 18.

Navy Day Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type
2022 Sat 21 May Navy Day Public
2023 Sun 21 May Navy Day Public
2024 Tue 21 May Navy Day Public
2025 Wed 21 May Navy Day Public
2026 Thu 21 May Navy Day Public

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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