September 16: Viva Mexico, Independence Day from Spain

In villages and towns large and small, Independence Day is a big deal in Mexico. On September 16, 1810, the Grito, or Cry of Dolores was shouted by Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo in the Guanajuato town of Dolores (later renamed Dolores Hidalgo). On September 27, the revolutionaries, led by Augustin de Iturbide, marked into Mexico City to overtake the Spanish garrison. The rest is history.

Mexican Flag, La Bandera de Mexico, Zocalo, Mexico City

Even in the days preceding the celebration, even in the rain, I could hear the drum beat of the Banda de la Guerra (the military marching band) practicing in the middle school courtyard. This is a celebration where children are front and center.

Flags for sale from the back of a motorcycle, a size for everyone.

Most homes have flags flying. The moto-taxis are adorned in banners and flags featuring the red, white and green bandera (flag).

Red, white and green as a food display.

On the late afternoon of September 15, my Zapotec family celebrated family matriarch Dolores’ birthday, named so because she was born on this special day. The Cry of Dolores is an important part of political and social acculturation, just like singing the Star Spangled Banner.

My chakira (beaded) flag blouse, stained with guajillo chile sauce at supper, soaking

Here in Teotitlan del Valle, the celebration begins on September 15. After the marching band leads the parade of young costumed girls through the streets, the townspeople gather in the municipal square. The late afternoon brings the threat of rain, but none comes.

A drum for every child? Why not!

At 11:00 p.m. everyone shouts the Cry for Independence together and the event is followed with firecrackers and rockets. The dogs bark and donkeys bray.

Chiles en Nogada at Oaxaca’s Los Danzantes. Traditional for Independence Day.

I put in my earplugs to get a good night’s sleep because I have a long travel day on September 17, starting at 3:30 a.m. and I want to walk the dogs in the campo where it is quiet and meditative.

There is more celebration today. Viva Mexico!

 

2 responses to “September 16: Viva Mexico, Independence Day from Spain

  1. Norma
    Have a safe trip. Thanks for your blogs and we’ll see you when you return!
    Viva Mexico!
    Jeannie Kes

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