Mexican Independence Day September 16th 2023, Events, History and Celebrate

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Mexican Independence Day September 16th 2023, Events, History and Celebrate

Mexican Independence Day September 16th 2023, Events, History and Celebrate

Mexican Independence Day, known as “El Grito de Dolores” or simply “El Grito,” is celebrated on September 16th each year. This holiday commemorates the start of the Mexican War of Independence from Spanish colonial rule. It is one of the most important national holidays in Mexico and is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the country.

Mexican Independence Day is a time for Mexicans to come together, express their patriotism, and celebrate their nation’s history and culture. It’s a joyful and spirited occasion that showcases the rich traditions of Mexico.

History of Mexican Independence Day

The history of Mexican Independence Day is a significant chapter in the country’s history and is rooted in a complex series of events and social, political, and economic factors. Here’s an overview of the key events leading up to Mexican Independence Day:

1. Spanish Colonial Rule: Mexico was a Spanish colony for nearly 300 years, following the arrival of Spanish conquistadors in the early 16th century. During this period, Mexico’s indigenous populations were subjugated, and the Spanish crown controlled most aspects of colonial life.

2. Enlightenment Ideas: In the late 18th century, Enlightenment ideas began to spread through Mexico, inspiring many Mexicans to question the oppressive rule of the Spanish crown. Concepts of liberty, equality, and rights influenced Mexican intellectuals and creoles (Spaniards born in Mexico).

3. Influence of the French and American Revolutions: The American Revolution (1775-1783) and the French Revolution (1789-1799) had a significant impact on Mexican independence aspirations. The success of these revolutions demonstrated that it was possible to break free from colonial rule.

4. Father Miguel Hidalgo’s “Grito de Dolores”: On the night of September 15, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in the town of Dolores (now Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato), issued a call to arms known as the “Grito de Dolores.” He called upon Mexicans to rise up against Spanish colonial rule, and this event marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.

5. The Struggle for Independence: The call to arms by Hidalgo led to a widespread uprising across Mexico, with indigenous people, mestizos, and creoles joining the cause. Over the next decade, various leaders and factions would lead the struggle for independence, including José María Morelos, Vicente Guerrero, and Agustín de Iturbide.

6. Achieving Independence: After years of fighting and shifting alliances, the Mexican War of Independence culminated in the signing of the Plan of Iguala in 1821, which outlined the terms for Mexican independence. On September 27, 1821, the Spanish Crown officially recognized Mexico’s independence.

7. Mexico’s First Emperor and Early Republic: Following independence, Mexico briefly became a monarchy with Agustín de Iturbide as Emperor. However, his reign was short-lived, and Mexico soon became a republic. A constitution was adopted in 1824, and Mexico became the United Mexican States.

8. Celebration of Mexican Independence Day: The date of September 16th, the “Grito de Dolores,” was adopted as the official day to celebrate Mexican Independence. It has since become a symbol of Mexican identity and patriotism, marked by grand celebrations, parades, and festivities.

How to Celebrate Mexican Independence Day

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day (El Grito de Dolores) is a lively and festive occasion in Mexico, and it can be a fun experience whether you’re in Mexico or elsewhere in the world. Here are some ways to celebrate this important holiday:

1. Learn About the History: Start by learning about the history and significance of Mexican Independence Day. Understanding the historical context and the events that led to independence can deepen your appreciation for the holiday.

2. Attend Local Celebrations: If you’re in Mexico, especially in major cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara, or Puebla, attending local celebrations is a must. The main event is often held in the central square (Zócalo) of major cities, where there are fireworks, music, and the shouting of “Viva México!” as the President rings the bell and delivers the “Grito de Dolores.”

3. Dress in Mexican Attire: Show your Mexican spirit by wearing traditional Mexican clothing. For men, this could be a charro outfit or a simple guayabera shirt. Women can wear colorful dresses like the famous “China Poblana” attire.

4. Decorate with Mexican Flags: Decorate your home or party venue with the Mexican flag’s colors (green, white, and red). You can hang flags, create paper decorations, or even paint your face with the flag’s colors.

5. Prepare Mexican Food: Mexican cuisine is an integral part of the celebrations. Prepare traditional Mexican dishes like pozole, tamales, chiles en nogada, mole, or guacamole for your family and friends. Don’t forget to include Mexican beverages like margaritas or aguas frescas.

6. Listen to Mexican Music: Play Mexican music during your celebration. Mariachi, ranchera, and cumbia music are popular choices that can set the festive mood. You can also have live music if possible.

7. Host a Fiesta: Invite friends and family over for a Mexican-themed fiesta. You can have a potluck where everyone brings a Mexican dish, play Mexican music, and even have a dance floor for traditional Mexican dances like the Jarabe Tapatío (Mexican Hat Dance).

8. Watch Parades and Fireworks: If there’s a local Mexican Independence Day parade or fireworks show in your area, consider attending. These events often feature colorful floats, traditional costumes, and lively performances.

9. Learn Traditional Dances: If you’re interested in the cultural aspects of the celebration, learn traditional Mexican dances like the Jarabe Tapatío or the Danzón. You can even organize a dance performance or contest at your gathering.

10. Raise a Toast with Tequila or Mezcal: To raise a toast to Mexico’s independence, consider enjoying some high-quality tequila or mezcal, two iconic Mexican spirits. You can also make margaritas or other Mexican cocktails.

11. Share Mexican Art and Culture: Share Mexican art, literature, or films with friends and family to immerse yourself in Mexican culture and history.

12. Show Your Patriotism: Wave the Mexican flag, sing the Mexican national anthem (or listen to others sing it), and shout “Viva México!” during the midnight shout of “El Grito.”

Host a Mexican Independence Day Party

Hosting a Mexican Independence Day party can be a fun and festive way to celebrate this important holiday. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you plan and host a memorable Mexican Independence Day party:

1. Choose a Date and Location:

    • Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on the night of September 15th and throughout September 16th. Choose a date that works for you and your guests.
    • Decide whether you’ll host the party at your home, a rented venue, or an outdoor location like a backyard or park.

2. Create Invitations:

    • Design invitations that reflect the Mexican theme. Use the colors of the Mexican flag (green, white, and red) and incorporate Mexican symbols or imagery.
    • Send out invitations well in advance, whether through traditional paper invitations, e-vites, or social media event pages.

3. Decorations:

    • Decorate your party space with Mexican-themed decorations:
      • Hang Mexican flags, papel picado (colorful paper banners), and sombreros.
      • Use tablecloths and centerpieces with Mexican patterns or motifs.
      • Place cacti or succulents as table decor.
      • Create a photo booth area with props like sombreros, maracas, and mustaches for guests to take pictures.

4. Mexican Food and Drinks:

    • Plan a menu of traditional Mexican dishes and drinks:
      • Offer appetizers like guacamole, salsa, and queso dip with tortilla chips.
      • Serve main dishes like tacos, enchiladas, tamales, or a Mexican-style barbecue.
      • Provide a variety of beverages, including margaritas, aguas frescas (fruit-flavored waters), and Mexican sodas.
      • Don’t forget dessert! Offer treats like churros, flan, or tres leches cake.

5. Entertainment:

    • Create a playlist of Mexican music, including mariachi, ranchera, and cumbia.
    • Consider hiring a mariachi band or a Mexican folk dance group for live entertainment.
    • Organize games and activities with a Mexican twist, such as a piñata filled with candies and small toys.

6. Dress Code:

    • Encourage guests to dress in Mexican attire or colors (green, white, and red). This can include traditional Mexican clothing, sombreros, or simply outfits featuring the Mexican flag’s colors.

7. Cultural Elements:

    • Incorporate elements of Mexican culture and history into your party. You can display artwork, literature, or provide information about Mexico’s history and traditions.
    • Consider showing a Mexican film or documentary related to Mexican history or culture.

8. The “Grito” Moment:

    • At the heart of Mexican Independence Day celebrations is the “Grito de Dolores.” At around 11 PM on September 15th, gather your guests to reenact this moment.
    • Have someone play the role of the “Grito” leader (Miguel Hidalgo) and lead the shout of “Viva México!” followed by the ringing of a bell or other noisemakers.

9. Party Favors:

    • Send guests home with small Mexican-themed party favors, such as mini sombreros, maracas, or Mexican candies.

10. Safety Precautions:

    • If you plan to serve alcoholic beverages, ensure that you have a designated driver or alternative transportation options for your guests.

11. Capture the Memories:

    • Set up a designated area for photos and encourage guests to take pictures throughout the party. Share these memories with your guests afterward.

12. Gratitude:

    • Take a moment to express your gratitude to your guests for joining the celebration and celebrating Mexican Independence Day with you.

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