It might seem like an unfortunate pun to discuss a country’s independence in an independent film blog, but it feels right to us in this case. After all, Mexico is the country in which we shot our own indie feature The Devil’s Tail, with artists from the US, Canada and Mexico. It is a beautiful country to which we return often for inspiration, and in which we plan to shoot our next feature.
It is a common misconception in the rest of North America that Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, is Mexico’s Independence Day. But today, September 16th, is the real date of Mexican independence, and it provides a couple of opportunities to celebrate…
Food, Flags and Fiestas
Independence Day celebrates the historical day a priest, Miguel Hidalgo, is believed to have made the cry for independence, El Grito de la Independencia, in the town Dolores, in north-central Mexico in Guanajuato.
No one knows the exact words said by Hidalgo, but “the cry of Dolores”, el Grito de Dolores, galvanized people against the Spanish regime. Hidalgo’s army fought against the Spanish, but he was captured and executed on July 30, 1811. Mexico’s independence was not declared until September 28, 1821. So Mexican Independence Day marks the start of the long fight for independence, not the end.
How to celebrate Mexico Independence Day, also known as El Grito?
“¡Viva Mexico!” or “¡Viva la independencia!” is often shouted in crowds on the night of the 15th, marking the day of El Grito de Dolores, and is followed by celebrating Independence Day on the 16th. Flags, flowers and fireworks – in the colors of the Mexican flag, red, white and green – are seen in parks and squares across Mexico.
Whistles are blown and confetti is thrown. To celebrate there are parades, parties, bell-ringing, and of course, food. If you’re looking for authentic Mexican dishes to try, pork tamales and beef stew are good bets, or try these recipes for chiles and cocktails like classic margaritas, for your own Mexican Independence themed event.
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