Independence Day

dia-independencia in Mexico

Mexico's Día de la Independencia (Independence Day) gets started on the night of September 15th with the celebration of El Grito, an annual tradition that kicks off the festival (held on the 16th) in style. This is a great day for Mexico as they celebrate Mexico's freedom and independence from Spanish rule.

The El Grito dates back to the wee hours of September 16, 1810, when a criollo priest named Miguel Hidalgo gave a call for independence. He rang the bell of his church as an invitation for fellow Mexicans to join in the revolution against Spanish rule. This revolution was to last for almost 10 years until Spain finally agreed to Mexican independence. Hidalgo's act is commemorated each year on September 16th with military parades in cities across the country.

As a celebration of the Mexican Independence Day, each city's houses, buildings and streets are colorfully decorated with flags.

The main plaza, or zocalo, of each city is where revelers congregate. There are food stands that serve traditional Mexican cuisine and plenty of party food: Mexican sweets, finger foods and ponche (a punch made from seasonal fruits).

There is a general air of merriment, as people are dressed in traditional Mexican clothes. For those not in costume, the colors of the day are green, red and white: the colors of the Mexican flag.

Come 11:00 p.m. on September 15, a government official gives the grito, which is followed by the energetic and loud shouts of the people who come prepared with whistles, noisemakers and trumpets.

Truly, this day is a reflection of the Mexican pride and spirit and definitely worth experiencing.