The month of September has arrived and with it the patriotic atmosphere is in the air, but especially on September 15th, which is a historic and festive day for any Mexican.
Colorful and striking decorations are placed on the main streets and squares of every major city, town or village, flags of all sizes are carried by children in schools, institutions prepare dances and regional costumes and restaurants get ready for “Noche Mexicana”, some with live music and traditional mariachis. There is green, white and red everywhere.
A LITTLE MEXICAN HISTORY
It all started when the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla began the movement in the town of Dolores, in the year 1810, inviting people to fight against the viceroyalty, summoning them all through the ringing of the bells of his parish and shouting eloquently the reasons why they could not wait to participate in this fight. This is why this event is called “Grito de Independencia or the Cry of Dolores”.
WHAT IS THE CELEBRATION LIKE NOW?
In each state, city or small town a ceremony led by the highest authority is commemorated, where a representation is made, the bells of the Government Palace are rung alluding to the call of Hidalgo, at the same time that the Mexican flag is waved and respects are offered to the heroes of the country.
While the head of state or the town shouts the name of each of the heroes, the crowd gathered in the civic squares or parks enthusiastically shouts ¡Viva! ¡Viva!, or, long live!, an expression that represents the respect and admiration of the nation towards these heroes of independence.
In the capital of the country, the president of the Mexico is in charge of presiding over this great event. On the edge of the presidential balcony he goes out to cheer-on the heroes, accompanied by the military and the armed forces. Afterwards there is an impressive display of fireworks, which illuminates the entire sky of the main plaze “zócalo” of the Mexican capital with the national colors.
More than 100,000 Mexicans gather on the esplanade of the zócalo and after the ceremony, they enjoy the orchestra musical groups and Mexican folklore shows that can be seen on this night of Mexican patriotism.
MILITARY CIVIC PARADE
After the celebration of the “Grito de Independencia”, the following day, on September 16, the traditional civic-military parade takes place. This parade is presided over by the Mexican Army and the Mexican Navy, they do what is popularly known as the ‘military parade’ where soldiers and sailors report to the head of the armed forces, who is the president of the Republic.
In other cities, this parade becomes a hubbub of colors, where you can see the participation of various institutions and universities, performing music shows, regional dances, talent shows, etc. Also, you can see the traditional charros and escaramuzas women who, mounted on their horses, perform choreographic pieces.
HOW IT IS CELEBRATED IN MERIDA
Thousands of Yucatecans fill the Plaza Grande to celebrate this national holiday, from the main balcony of the Palace, the governor of the state reenacts the “Cry of Dolores” speech of Hildago with the national flag in his hands, in front of thousands of children, youth and adults. All the while we are listening to the ringing of bells at the same time as the national flag is wave.
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria!
¡Viva Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez!
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!
And after each phrase you can hear the “Viva!” from the crowd. It’s quite the sight and is very exciting!
The spirit of the attendees reaches a euphoric level, which is heard with shouts of joy and rattles, to later give place to the singing of the National Anthem, a special moment that can be heard in the surroundings of the heart of the Historic Center of Mérida.
After returning the national flag and concluding the formal act, the Governor witnesses, together with civil and military authorities, as well as the thousands of attendees, the pyrotechnics show that, with multicolored lights illuminate the sky of the Yucatecan capital.
Without a doubt, the month of September is surrounded by a patriotic atmosphere and in every corner of the country, there is no Mexican who does not remember the commemoration of the beginning of independence.
This is a day that can be celebrated in many ways, from attending traditional Mexican festivals, eating a delicious typical dish, having a noche mexicana with your friends or family or simply shouting: Viva Mexico!