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Celebrating Independence Day in Mexico

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Mexican Flag with fireworks
Mexican Flag

Celebrating Independence Day in Mexico is a real treat for expats. The night of the 15th of September is when the Mexican people celebrate their independence from Spain, but the actual day Mexico proclaimed its Independence was the 16th of September.

If you have already celebrated at least one Independence Day in Mexico, you know that there’s a lot of joy, wonderful Mexican food and fireworks on Independence Day. In the local main square on the 15th of September at approximately 11 p.m., the mayor begins the celebration with the shout: Viva Mexico! Viva la Independencia! Viva la patria!

It is important to say that during this celebration you should be careful because there are a lot of people drinking, and unfortunately, there are quite a few accidents.

But let’s go back in time to the 19th century, the place New Spain.

After almost 300 years under the rule of the Spanish crown, some of the Creole (Mexican-born Spanish people in the New Spain territory) had enough of the Spaniards who held the best positions in the New Spain government.

The year was 1810 and among the Creoles who were dissatisfied were names that stand out in our history: Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, Miguel Dominguez, Juan Aldama, Ignacio Allende, and the one who started the rebellion with a shout, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who is considered the Father of the Mexican Nation.

In the colonial city of Querétaro, the Creoles began meeting regularly under the pretense of discussing art and philosophy. However, they were really plotting the rebellion. Unfortunately for them, they were discovered. But just before they were imprisoned, Ignacio Perez and Juan Aldama rode side-by-side to the town of Dolores Hidalgo.

Father Miguel Hidalgo, who was living in Dolores, made a momentous decision that revolutionized the course of Mexican history. Within hours, Hidalgo, a Catholic priest in the village of Dolores, ordered the arrest of Dolores’ native Spaniards. Then Hidalgo rang the church bell as he customarily did to call the Indians to mass. The message that Hidalgo gave to the Indians and Mestizos called for them to retaliate against the hated “Gachupines”, or native Spaniards, who had exploited and oppressed Mexicans for ten generations.

Although a movement toward Mexican independence had already been in progress since Napoleon’s conquest of Spain, Hidalgo’s passionate declaration was a swift, unpremeditated decision on his part. “Mexicanos, Viva Mexico!” (Mexicans, long live Mexico!) Hidalgo told the Mexicans who were the members of New Spain’s lowest caste. He urged the exploited and embittered Mexicans to recover the lands that were stolen from their forefathers. His call to these people to rebel was a radical change from the original revolution plot devised by the Creole, or Mexican-born Spaniards.

When the Indian and Mestizo forces, led by Hidalgo and Allende, reached the next village en route to Mexico City, they acquired a picture of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint whose image was of a woman of color. The Virgin of Guadalupe, who was indigenous to Mexico, became the banner of the revolutionary forces as Hidalgo and Allende led the path toward Mexico City and the expulsion of the Gachupines.

After eleven years of war they finally established Mexico’s Independence with the signing of the Treaty of Cordoba. And the rest is history.

Viva Mexico! Viva the expats living in Mexico!

1 COMMENT

  1. We have celebrated 11 Dia de Independencia here at Lake Chapala and each has been unique and special in their own way. You never tire of that community togetherness and what a great opportunity for the expatriates to say THANK YOU MEXICO for welcoming us with hospitality to live in this adopted homeland.

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