September 16th is Mexican Independence Day

Independence Day Vendor

Por Liliana Elena González

@mexatua

Throughout the month of September all Mexicans celebrate our Independence. The main streets and avenues of every city in Mexico are filled with ornaments with the colors of our flag (green, white and red). Many of these ornaments have colored bulbs that light up at dusk. The main squares in small towns like Patzcuaro are all filled with color.

It was the night of September 15, 1810, in the town of Dolores Hidalgo in Guanajuato when the priest Miguel Hidalgo gave the “Grito de Dolores” or “Cry of Independence” to harangue the people to revolt. This event marks the beginning of the fight for Mexico´s independence.

Nowadays there are “verbenas” (popular festivals) in the main squares of cities and towns in Mexico on the night of September 15th. The ceremony of the Cry of Independence is held in the Government Palace at 11:00 pm. The largest and busiest celebration takes place in the main square of Mexico City and our President is in charge of giving the cry. Governors and mayors held the ceremony on the states and towns in all our country. Mexican Consuls abroad are responsible for preserving this tradition.

There are music, dancing and vendors selling flags, horns, whistles and all kinds of souvenirs with the colors of the Mexican flag at the popular verbena. There are stallholders selling typical Mexican dishes such as quesadillas, “gorditas”, enchiladas, mole, tostadas, pozole, corundas, buñuelos (fritters topped with syrup) and many more. Also Mexican drinks such as atole, “aguas de sabores” (made out of fruits) and sometimes tequila.

The “Cry of Independence” ceremony consists in ringing the bell, waving the Mexican flag and shout:

¡Mexicanos!
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria!
¡Víva Hidalgo!
¡Viva Morelos!
¡Viva Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez!
¡Viva Allende!
¡Viva Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la independencia nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

The crowd will answer with one voice, after each sentence: VIVAN! (hurray) and finally also Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! Then the fireworks and the party continue until the early morning.

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