sometimes paradise is freedom.!!

Angel of Independence courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Angel of Independence courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

Happy Mexican Independence Day.!!! VIVA MEXICO.!!!

For more information about El Grito or Mexican Independence Day, please check out my blog post from two years ago –

https://howdoyousaytacoinspanish.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/el-grito/

el grito..!!

Happy Mexican Independence Day.!!! Please enjoy this blog from last year explaining this lovely Mexican holiday ūüôā VIVA MEXICO.!!!

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

courtesy of imagine-mexico.com courtesy of imagine-mexico.com

Mexico’s actual Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th and is considered a national holiday. That’s correct folks, Cinco de Mayo is not Independence Day for Mexico! El Grito or The Cry is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. The holiday commemorates the day the Mexican War of Independence began with Spain. It is celebrated in every city center in Mexico on the evening of September 15th with the ringing of the church or municipal bells.

Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a Roman Catholic priest in the town of Dolores, near Guanajuato. Father Hidalgo was part of a rebellion against Spain. After several of his fellow insurgents were captured, Father Hidalgo feared he too would be arrested. Along with his brother and other radicals, they demanded the release of the captives. Finally, very late on the 15th of September, Father Hidalgo rang the church…

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el grito..!!

courtesy of imagine-mexico.com

courtesy of imagine-mexico.com

Mexico’s actual Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th and is considered a national holiday. That‚Äôs correct folks, Cinco de Mayo is not Independence Day for Mexico! El Grito or The Cry is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. The holiday commemorates the day the Mexican War of Independence began with Spain. It is celebrated in every city center in Mexico on the evening of September 15th with the ringing of the church or municipal bells.

Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a Roman Catholic priest in the town of Dolores, near Guanajuato. Father Hidalgo was part of a rebellion against Spain. After several of his fellow insurgents were captured, Father Hidalgo feared he too would be arrested. Along with his brother and other radicals, they demanded the release of the captives. Finally, very late on the 15th of September, Father Hidalgo rang the church bells and made the first “shout” for independence. He urged his congregation to revolt and so began the war against Spain.

courtesy of latinbayarea.com

courtesy of latinbayarea.com

For this reason, Independence Day in Mexico is sometimes called El Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores) or El Grito de la Independencia (The Cry of Independence). This is also the reason Independence Day parties begin the evening of September 15th. With the holiday this year starting on Sunday evening, there have also been many parties throughout the weekend in bars, restaurants and peoples’ homes. It is a very exciting time, similar to the Fourth of July celebrations in the states.

Traditionally, Mexicans throughout the country converge in their z√≥calos or town plazas to reenact that historic evening. In Mexico City, the President of Mexico rings the bell at the National Palace around 11pm. Afterwards, he delivers a speech. As there is no known record of Hidalgo‚Äôs speech, most leaders touch upon patriotism and name the founders of the revolution. At the end, the President waves a Mexican flag while shouting ‚Äú¬°Viva M√©xico!‚ÄĚ Usually, there are also fireworks and music. It is a very lively atmosphere!

courtesy of shutterstock.com

courtesy of shutterstock.com

This celebration occurs in every city in Mexico but with mayors or governors presiding in place of the president; as well as, in consulates and embassies around the world. In Playa del Carmen, El Grito will take place at the Palacio Municipal (City Hall). The festivities begin at 11pm. However, I recommend arriving earlier in the evening if you want to enjoy the entertainment, partake in delicious Mexican food and refreshments, and bask in the exciting atmosphere.

It is a celebration not to be missed if you are traveling in Mexico during this time! Whichever city you find yourself in Mexico, I recommend enjoying the exciting Independence Day activities. The revelry continues through September 16th which is considered a national patriotic holiday. Most every town also has a parade starting at the z√≥calos. In Mexico City, the parade winds down the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico‚Äôs main boulevard, and passes the √Āngel de la Independencia (Angel of Independence). In Playa del Carmen, the parade saunters down Treinta Avenida or 30th Avenue.

courtesy of intheroo.com

courtesy of intheroo.com

After all of the bell ringing and parades, celebrate with some good food and beer. Many restaurants and bars also celebrate Independence Day with drink specials, live music and DJs. You must try a bandera, literally meaning the word flag, on Independence Day! It is a three shot drink of lime juice, tequila, and then sangrita or tomato juice.

The colors of the lime, tequila, and sangrita match the colors of the Mexican flag! The drink is amazing!! Once you have it, you will never drink a tequila shot with lime and salt again. September 16th is an exciting time to be in Mexico and experience how this country celebrates its independence from Spain. I wish all of my friends in Mexico, ‚Äú¬°Viva M√©xico!‚ÄĚ

banderas - courtesy of my friend D.

banderas – courtesy of my friend D.

to celebrate or not to celebrate – that is the question

courtesy of evfxonline.com

courtesy of evfxonline.com

I went to Dublin, Ireland in the summer of 2008. I had such a wonderful time there and met many great friends that I returned to Dublin in the summer of 2009. At this point, I know what you’re thinking – “um, hello Rose, wrong blog! This is the one about Mexico!” But bear with me for a second, my trip to Ireland does tie in with Mexico, this blog and Cinco de Mayo.

courtesy of wallupload.com

courtesy of wallupload.com

While I was in Dublin, I discovered something interesting about St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish in the Republic of Ireland do not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the same manner or with the same intensity we do in the United States. Now granted, St. Patrick’s Day is celebtrated in Ireland on March 17th. It has been an official holiday since 1903. Since it is an official holiday or a bank holiday, most businesses and schools are closed and transportation runs on a reduced schedule.

But in the United States, specifically in cities such as Chicago, Boston and New York where there is a large diaspora – it is THE Irish Celebration..!! Rivers are dyed green – please note Chicago River photo below. Parades are held – two in Chicago in fact – one on the north side and one on the south side. And let us not forget all the green beer and drunken revelry that abounds during this most Irish of holidays. Except not so much in Ireland… Just in the states…

Green Chicago River

Green Chicago River

This Irish/U.S. conundrum brings me to Mexico and Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held on May 5th, hence the name here in the states. However, in Mexico, it is only celebrated regionally, primarily in the state of Puebla. In Puebla, the holiday is called El D√≠a de la Batalla de Puebla or The Day of the Battle of Puebla. The date commemorates the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over the French in 1862. Also, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday. It is only an observance.

Mexico’s actual Independence Day is celebrated on September 16th and is considered a national holiday. El Grito or The Cry is the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. It is celebrated in every city center in Mexico with the ringing of the church bells. However, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated as THE Mexican holiday showcasing Mexican pride and heritage. While no rivers are dyed or parades held, there is definitely much Mexican food and beer consumed in it’s honor.

courtesy of latinbayarea.com

courtesy of latinbayarea.com

I find this a little strange. Maybe I’m the only one. It is not that I am against celebrations, parades or beer. I love all of that..!! But why would Irish immigrants come to the United States and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day of all the holidays they could celebrate? Why would Mexican immigrants come to the United States and celebrate Cinco de Mayo as a sign of Mexican pride rather than El Grito? Is it one of those melting pot submersions that occur? You throw in a little Irish and a pinch of Mexican and serve it up in America and you get St. Patrick’s Day and Cinco de Mayo..!!

Maybe… But it does make me wonder what would happen if Americans moved in huge numbers to other countries. Instead of celebrating the 4th of July as a source of American pride – would we find ourselves celebrating Groundhog Day or President’s Day as our patriotic identity..?? Hmmm… just a little something to think about. But in the meantime, cheers..!! And salud..!!

courtesy of theberry.com

courtesy of theberry.com