How Is Mexican Independence Day Celebrated?

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Mexican Independence Day, also called "Independence Day" or the "cry of independence," is celebrated annually on September 16 with food, dances and music. Fireworks and parties, called fiestas, are also part of Independence Day festivities.

Mexican Independence Day is a historic holiday follows the Cry of Dolores, or "El Grito de Dolores," which takes place on September 15. The two related holidays mark the beginning of Mexico's independence from Spain, which it accomplished in 1810.

Mexican Independence Day History
In Mexico, Independence Day is considered a national or public holiday. In that respect, it resembles the American holiday of July 4th, also called Independence Day. Most Mexican businesses and offices close on the Mexican Independence Day, as do schools, banks and government offices. Because the holiday traditionally includes large parades and street festivals, some roads and thoroughfares in large towns and cities may be closed temporarily to accommodate parade routes and ensure the safety of the public as they convene to watch the parades. Public transportation may also be affected, so individuals planning to use trains, buses and other forms of public transportation that day should contact Mexico's public transit authorities for any updates or changes to timetables and scheduled routes, states Time and Date.

The Mexican Independence Day honors the life of Miguel Hidalgo, who is believed to have ushered a cry of independence from the town of Dolores. Dolores is a town that is located in the northwestern part of Mexico. It is located in the state of Guanajuato. Hidalgo was a prominent leader in Mexico's War of Independence, which explains the significance of his cry on the day that Mexico gained independence from Spain. Historic records say that Hidalgo delivered a historic speech on September 16, 1810, according to Time and Date. Hidalgo's speech, which is also referred to as the "Cry of Dolores," was created to motivate Mexican citizens to revolt against the Spanish regime. Hidalgo led a Mexican army that fought against the Spaniards. Despite his efforts, however, Hidalgo was captured and killed on July 30, 1811. Mexico officially declared its independence from Spain on September 28, 1821.

Independence Day Traditions
Just as Americans celebrate their independence day with certain foods, such as hot dogs and hamburgers, Mexicans prepare certain foods in honor of their country's independence from Spain. In Mexico City on September 15, the main square is decorated with flowers, Mexican flags and decorative items with the colors of green, red and white, which are the colors of Mexico's flag. These festive decorative items include confetti, horns, paper mache and toys. As the hour of Mexican Independence approaches, street vendors line up to sell popular foods to the crowds. Historically, the president of Mexico gives a symbolic speech on Independence Day. The current president traditionally acknowledges the holiday by ringing a historic bell, once rung by Hidalgo, which united the people of Mexico against the oppressive Spanish regime. The president then recites the "Cry of Dolores" speech and cries out "Viva la Mexico!" in honor of the country's separation from Spain. This event triggers the start of fiestas and festivities that take place around the clock, continuing well into the following day. September 16 is essentially a day-long celebration with rodeos, fireworks, music, traditional foods and drinks. Melted cheese dip, pork tamales and spiced roasted lamb are foods traditionally consumed on Mexican Independence Day.