Sunday, September 16

El dia de Independencia de Mexico

Back in 1810, on September 16th, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo, rang his church's bells, in the town of Dolores, and yelled to the people to revolt against Spain. Four days later, they began a TEN YEAR (!!!) long war against Spain, eventually winning their independence.

Present Day:
To commemorate what happened back in 1810, every September 15th, the people of Mexico meet in various cities where they celebrate with music, dancing, food, drink and the "Grito de Dolores" (Shout of Dolores). In Mexico City, the President comes out with the Mexican flag, rings a bell, shouts the "Grito de Dolores," rings the bell some more, and waves the Mexican flag with the crowd cheering below. This same ceremony happens throughout Mexico, led by mayors and governors. Then after all this celebration, the next day is their Independence Day!

The Grito:
Long live the heroes that gave us the Fatherland!
Long live Hidalgo!
Long live Morelos!
Long live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez!
Long live Allende!
Long live Galena and the Bravos!
Long live Aldama and Matamoros!
Long live National Independence!
Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico!
Then after every line that is spoken, the people of Mexico shout "Viva!"

I was invited by my upstairs neighbor to join her and her sister to attend the local celebration, which just so happened to be down the street. It was FANTASTIC!!! There was some traditional Mexican dances and music. There was the famous Mexican hat dance! There was a mariachi band. There were yummy smells of tacos, cheese, various fried goodness, and cinnamon-y churros. THEN at 9:45-10:00pm, they stopped the program to stream live the ceremony from Mexico City. I watched on the screens as the President yelled the Grito. It gave me goosebumps to watch that. Then at 11pm, the mayor of Ensenada yelled the same Grito, followed by the National Anthem. There were fireworks that make everyone (including myself) go "ooooooh" and "aaaaaah," which made me chuckle. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening. (I wish I had pictures...but alas, no camera still. I thought about drawing pictures but decided to spare you.)

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