In Brazil there's been a big parade in the capital of Rio de Janeiro to mark the 155th anniversary of the country's independence from Portugal.
In Brazil there's been a big parade in the capital of Rio de Janeiro to mark the 155th anniversary of the country's independence from Portugal. Unlike the Spanish possessions in South America which became separate countries, all Portugal's colonies were united in one huge nation.
SYNOPSIS: The celebrations continued all day in the city's Flamengo Park and they were dominated by units from the armed forces. Unlike the annual Rio carnival, the independence day parade was a comparatively sober affair, and a reminder for Brazilians of the military rule they've lived under for 13 years.
The country has had a turbulent history ever since it achieved independence from Portugal in 1822. For the first nine years of independence Brazil was ruled by a despotic emperor who became so unpopular that he was forced to abdicate. The empire completely collapsed in 1889 and since then the forms of government have ranged from dictatorial to republican and finally military.
The few civilian in the parade were members of the Association of War Veterans formed in 1945 when the Brazilian Expeditionary Force returned from a campaign in Italy.
A mascot belonging to a military academy was followed by the members of the academy themselves using an unusual form of military transport.
Representatives of the church and government watched as naval cadets provided one of the most entertaining moments of the parade with a special performance of their own.
The morning's two hour parade ended with members of the Second Regiment of Mounted Guards and the Regiment of Mounted Police cantering past the crowds.
In the afternoon a torch representing Brazil's symbolic 'fire of the fatherland' was handed to Secretary of Education Teresinha Saraiva who lit another flame to mark the occasion.
The climax of the celebrations came with a salvo of cannons and fireworks including a display forming the words 'Brazil is made for us'.