History and celebration of Mexican Independence Day
Mexican Independence Day is a national holiday in Mexico. It is a non-working day, and many businesses, schools, and government offices are closed to allow people to participate in the celebrations and festivities.
Independence Day is celebrated on the night of September 15th and throughout September 16th and commemorates the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, a significant event in Mexico’s history.
Mexican Independence War
Mexico was a colony of Spain for nearly 3 centuries. The movement for Mexican independence officially began on the night of September 15, 1810, in the town of Dolores (now Dolores Hidalgo) in the state of Guanajuato.
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, and revolutionary leader, along with other conspirators, issued the “Grito de Dolores” (“The Cry of Dolores”) calling for rebellion against Spanish rule.
Hidalgo’s call to action rallied people from various backgrounds, including mestizos, indigenous populations, and creoles. This event marked the start of the Mexican War of Independence, which would last for over a decade.
Miguel Hidalgo was one of the primary figures in the early stages of the independence movement. He was captured and executed in 1811. Other key leaders were José María Morelos, Vicente Guerrero, and Agustín de Iturbide.
Mexico’s journey to independence was a complex and tumultuous one, involving battles, negotiations, and shifting alliances. September 16th, the date of the Grito de Dolores, remains a symbol of Mexican independence.
The fight for independence was driven by a desire for self-governance, resentment of Spanish colonial rule, socio-economic disparities, and influence from Enlightenment ideals and other independence movements around the world.
The Spanish crown recognized the Mexican independence on September 27, 1821.
Mexican Independence Day parades
Parades on Mexican Independence Day, September 16th, take place in towns and cities across Mexico. These parades are a central part of the celebrations and are held to commemorate the country’s independence.
This day is celebrated with pride and patriotic fervor to this day. While the specific locations and scale of the parades can vary, here are some common places where you can expect to find parades:
Mexico City: The capital city hosts one of the largest and most elaborate Independence Day parades in the country. The main parade route often runs along Paseo de la Reforma and reaches the historic Zócalo square.
State Capitals: In each of Mexico’s 31 states and the Federal District, the state capital typically hosts a parade. These can be impressive events, especially in larger cities like Guadalajara, Monterrey, and Puebla.
Municipalities: Parades are not limited to state capitals. Many smaller towns and municipalities also organize their own Independence Day parades, often featuring local schools, community groups, and government officials.
Local Neighborhoods: In some urban neighborhoods and communities, residents organize smaller-scale parades to celebrate Independence Day. These can be more intimate and community-focused.
Military Parades: In addition to civilian parades, there are often military parades held in various locations around the country, showcasing the country’s armed forces and their role in defending Mexico’s sovereignty.
Parades typically feature marching bands, traditional Mexican dances, equestrian performances, colorful floats, and people dressed in patriotic attire. The atmosphere is one of joy, patriotism, and celebration.
Mexican Independence Day traditions
Mexican Independence Day is a vibrant and patriotic occasion marked by various festive traditions:
The celebrations kick off on the evening of September 15th with the symbolic “El Grito” ceremony.
The President of Mexico or local officials lead this event, where they ring a bell and shout “¡Viva México!” followed by the names of key figures in the struggle for independence, concluding with “¡Viva México!” again.
This ceremony is reenacted in town squares and cities across the country. Fireworks display light up the night sky, adding to the festive atmosphere. Colorful explosions and dazzling lights are a common sight on this day.
On September 16th, parades featuring marching bands, dancers in traditional costumes, and colorful floats take place across the country. These parades often include reenactments of important moments from Mexican history.
Mexican flags are prominently displayed in homes, on streets, and in public places.
Mexican Independence Day is a lively and patriotic celebration that brings people together to commemorate their country’s history and culture. It’s one of the most important holidays in Mexico and is marked with enthusiasm and joy.
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