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Viva Mexico! How a Cry for Unity Became a Cry for Independence

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Viva Mexico! How a Cry for Unity Became a Cry for Independence

Sophia Boccard

Mexicans have much to be proud about. 

Their cuisine is deemed a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Treasure by UNESCO.
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It has many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of the top 10 countries with the most sites, 27 in total.
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Mexico is an awesome place to visit and is one of the Top 10 Destinations for travel and tourism in 2015.
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Mexico produces TEQUILA.
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But more than any of the aforementioned subjects, they are also very proud of their country's independence, having fought off the French and Spanish over countless years of wars and battles.

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September 16 marks the official day of Mexico’s Independence from Spain. It is also known as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores). 

The start of their Independence Day began on September 16, 1810 when Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla cried out to his congregation in the town square of Dolores, Guanajuato:

My children: a new dispensation comes to us today. Will you receive it? Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen three hundred years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once… Will you defend your religion and your rights as true patriots? Long live our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to bad government! Death to the Spaniards! (Beezley, William H. Mexico in World History. New York: Oxford University Press Publication. 2011.)

This single event marks the beginning of the decade long Mexican War of Independence from Spain. The Siege of Guanajuato, though, was the first engagement of the insurgency that took place four days after Hidalgo made his poignant speech. While Hidalgo is known as the Father of his Country, he was captured, tried, and executed nearly a year after his speech.

It wasn’t until September 28, 1821 - a decade later - that the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire from Spain was declared and the Mexican Empire became a federal republic.

Today, the event is celebrated beginning the evening of September 15th around 11pm with the President of Mexico ringing the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City and beginning the shout of patriotism based on the “Grito de Dolores” (see quote above) and finishing off the shouts with chants of ¡Viva México!

September 16 is celebrated with drum and bugle competitions, parades, concerts, and other patriotic programs in cities and towns throughout Mexico.

viva mexico

MAZATLAN. Each year, Mazatlan’s Independence Day Parade begins at the Fisherman’s Monument. Around 1500 students from surrounding junior high and high schools, 1000 members of the Mexican Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion and 400 members of the 4th Naval Zone squadrons participate in the 2+ hours parade that concludes at the Mazatlan Aquarium. If you’re ever in town around September 16, make sure to catch the parade.