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What Does Mexico Do In Independence Day? How Mexican People Celebrate Independence Day

Mexican Independence Day is a red-letter day observed annually on September 16. It’s not just any other day, but a significant mark of national pride for Mexico. In 2023, as always, the festivities will fall on this date, turning Mexico into a vibrant and spirited celebration.

Unearthing the Origins: A Glimpse into History

The roots of Mexican Independence Day trace back to the early 19th century when Mexico, termed as New Spain, was under the stringent grip of Spanish colonialism for more than three centuries. The stringent reign saw the natives stifled, assets seized, and political dominance by the Spaniards.

In the heart of such repression, a beacon of hope emerged in Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest from Dolores. His profound “Grito de Dolores” on September 16, 1810, not only called for an end to Spanish rule but also kindled the flames of the Mexican War of Independence. It wasn’t until August 24, 1821, after a grueling decade-long war, that Spain relinquished its grip, acknowledging Mexico’s independence.

Fast forward to today, this iconic moment has been celebrated every year, turning into a grand national event over the past two centuries. Furthermore, recognizing the significance of this historic event, numerous organizations and corporations have set up scholarships for Hispanic students, further bolstering the spirit of independence.

Mistaken Identity: Mexican Independence Day vs. Cinco de Mayo

A common misconception prevalent outside of Mexico is equating Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence Day. However, they are distinct events. While Mexican Independence Day celebrates the initiation of Mexico’s revolt against Spain, Cinco de Mayo marks Mexico’s triumph over the French forces in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

A Day of Patriotic Zeal: Traditions and Celebrations

Mexican Independence Day is a magnificent blend of vibrant parades, fervent patriotic addresses, and spectacular fireworks illuminating the night sky. Drawing inspiration from the July 4 celebrations in the U.S., the Mexican version is a dazzling display of national pride.

  • Colors of Pride: The streets of Mexico get adorned in the national colors – red, white, and green. These colors, symbolizing the Mexican flag, are omnipresent – from public places to private homes.
  • A Nostalgic Echo: One of the event’s pinnacle moments is when the sitting President of Mexico reenacts Father Hidalgo’s iconic bell ringing from 1810, followed by a rendition of the “Grito de Dolores”. This ceremony, attended by half a million spectators, is broadcasted live, reaching millions more through radio and television.
  • Music, Dance, and Feasting: No celebration is complete without music and food. Traditional mariachi bands set the tempo, getting people on their feet. As for food, it’s a gastronomic delight. From street vendors to home kitchens, the air is fragrant with the aroma of traditional dishes like ‘pozole’, ‘Menudo’, and ‘Queso Fundido’. Accompanying these culinary delights are beverages ranging from tequila and Mexican beer to the refreshing sangria.

Embracing Mexican Independence Day

The 16th of September isn’t just a date in the Mexican calendar. It’s a symbol of resistance, resilience, and rejuvenation. For anyone keen on understanding Mexico’s rich history and vibrant culture, there’s no better time to be in Mexico than during the Independence Day celebrations.

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Jack Reuben Fletcher

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