El Día de la Independencia de México (Mexico’s Independence Day) is a special holiday for all Mexicans, including my family and me. It is a time when our dear Mexico celebrates its fight for independence from Spain.
While this may be a popular holiday, here are a few things you need to know about the Mexican Independence Day:
Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th…Not on Cinco De Mayo!
I know, shocking right?
Cinco De Mayo is a popular holiday in the U.S. and often labeled as Mexican Independence Day. I hate to break it to you…it is not! The Cinco de Mayo actually marks Mexico’s victory over France in the Battle of Puebla in 1862 (still worth celebrating). Cinco de Mayo is actually a bigger celebration in the U.S. than in Mexico…perhaps just another reason to drink?
Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16. This date marks the moment when Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, rang his church’s bell and delivered a speech now known as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores), demanding the end of Spanish rule. This started the long Mexican War of Independence, which lasted over a decade. Finally, on August 24, 1821, Spain retreated and officially recognized Mexico as an independent country. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla is known as the Father of Mexican Independence. Each year, since that historic day, Mexican Independence is celebrated.
Mexico’s Independence Day is a 2-day Fiesta!
Yes, you read that right. This holiday is not only a 1-day but a 2-day fiesta.
This celebration starts on September 15th at 11 pm, where many Mexicans participate in “El Grito de Dolores”. The next day there are celebrations similar to the 4th of July in the U.S. There are parades, carnivals, food, gritos (Mexican cries) and family parties. Schools, workplaces, and federal buildings close on September 16th.
It really is a time to enjoy the festivities and come together as a nation.
El Grito is Reenacted by the Current Mexican President
Every year the President of Mexico participates by ringing that same bell that Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang, now over 200 years old. He rings the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City then recites a variation of the “Cry of Dolores”. He then ends with ¡Viva Mexico!, a commonly used phrase by Mexicans to express their love and pride for their country. The crowd roars, cheers and chants in excitement as fireworks light up the sky.
This is a time when a nation puts aside its differences and celebrates. A reminder to believe in the promises that were once made. Believing in a Mexico that is fair and just. It is perhaps also a reminder to hold on to hope for a better country, better people, and better leadership.
Mexico’s Independence Day is Celebrated All Over the World
Anyone with Mexican roots holds this holiday near and dear to their hearts. “Paisanos” (fellow countrymen) who live away from their “Mexico Lindo y Querido” (Mexico Beautiful and Beloved), attempt to stay connected to all the beautiful traditions. In any part of the world (where Mexicans reside), you’ll be sure to find a Mexican Independence celebration. No matter how small or big of a celebration, Mexicans will display their love and pride for their country.
Whether you’re celebrating near or far, let the spirit of this wonderful holiday live on.
¡Feliz Día de la Independencia!
To read more about this special holiday, visit https://nationaltoday.com/mexican-independence-day/ .