Happy Independence Day, Brazil

The South American country celebrates 191 years of freedom today.

Posted: 09/07/2013 12:00 AM EDT

On Sept. 7, 1822, Brazil gained independence, ending 322 years of Portuguese rule.

Today, South America's most influential nation celebrates 191 years of independence in the wake of recent waves of massive anti-government protests.

The vibrant country boasts one of the world's biggest democracies, and arguably the most devout soccer culture in the world.

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(Photo: Rich Schultz/Getty Images)