September is here, which means it is officially el mes de la patria, also known as the month of the homeland to the citizens of Mexico! Mexico has their own Independence Day, just like the United States does. Mexico was once enslaved by Spain for about 300 years, but one particularly memorable event turned everything around for the better.
What happened on September 16th?
People from many backgrounds had previously been planning to revolt against the Spanish, but nothing was successful. In the years leading up to the Mexican War of Independence, most plots were devised by Mexican-born Spaniards, or criollos, who ranked below native Europeans within Mexico’s highly stratified caste system. The criollos’ approach largely excluded indigenous Mexicans and mestizos, who were deprived of the most basic political and civil rights.
During the early hours of September 16, 1810, Mexico’s War of Independence officially began. The priest Miguel Hidalgo-Costilla rang the church bell and cried out to the townspeople to take up arms and revolt against the Spanish regime. This event is called el grito de Dolores (the cry of Dolores). Dolores is the town in Guanajuato state where this occurred.
A huge crowd joined the priest in no time and marched along his side toward Mexico City, including thousands of Indians and mestizos — who were previously left out of any plans to revolt. This sparked the uprising against Spanish rule. This was just the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
Hidalgo was captured and killed by the Spanish on July 30, 1811. Hidalgo is now known as the “Father of Mexican Independence.” The people continued to fight without Hidalgo, and the war lasted over a decade.
On August 24, 1821, the war ended when Spanish Viceroy Juan de O’Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which gave approval to make Mexico an independent constitutional monarchy. This was the ending of three centuries of Spanish rule. The Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire was finally declared on September 28, 1821. It wasn’t until two years later when Mexico found their its first president, Guadalupe Victoria.
What does the flag symbolize?
The colors of Mexico’s flag are physical symbols of Mexico’s independence. The green represents the Mexican independence. The white celebrates the religion at the heart of the Mexican culture and people. Finally, the red symbolizes the union between the religion and the independence.
How Does Mexico Celebrate?
Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16th similarly to the way we celebrate the 4th of July – with fireworks, parades, and music. However, Mexicans know how to party – which is why some festivities begin at 11 pm the night before, on September 15th. On this evening, Mexico’s president rings a bell at the National Palace in Mexico City and repeats Hidalgo’s famous words to large crowds that have gathered at major government palaces. It is estimated that 500,000 locals and tourists show up to this celebration.
You will hear crowds chanting back many phrases:
- ¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria!
- ¡Viva Hidalgo!
- ¡Viva Morelos!
- ¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
- ¡Viva Allende!
- ¡Vivan Aldama y Matamoros!
- ¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
- ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!
The English translations are the following:
- Long live the heroes who gave us our homeland!
- Long live Hidalgo!
- Long live Morelos!
- Long live Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
- Long live Allende!
- Long live Aldama and Matamoros!
- Long live the independence of our nation!
- Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico!
Locals decorate the streets with flags, flowers, and lights in the flag’s colors of green, white, and red. The day is full of parades, rodeos, bullfights, street parties, and vendors selling an assortment of loud toys. People set towers of braided willow and palm stalks on fire and explode fireworks. Of course, Mexico also celebrates by doing what it does best – cooking and devouring delicious food.
How Can You Celebrate?
Costa Pacifica invites you to celebrate with our team in San Antonio throughout the entire month of September. We will be offering a Mexican Rita, using the colors of Mexico’s flag.
This limited-edition margarita is only $9.99 and features fresh cucumber with lime, enriched with chamoy. It sounds delicious, but it tastes even better!
This margarita is only available for a limited time. You have until September 29th, 2017 to come out and celebrate with this festive drink! Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Costa Pacifica at 210-491-1378 for more information.