These past few days have been particularily exciting here in D.F. as yesterday (September 16) was Mexico’s Independence Day! I have noticed the excitement in the air throughout the month as Mexico has prepared for the holiday. Aside from my co-workers offering the best advice on how to properly celebrate actual Independence Day in true fashion, I have been patiently awaiting to experience this marvelous holiday in Mexico’s capital.
Mexico also celebrates this holiday with many temporary dishes made available throughout September to honor their Day of Independence, my favorite being Chiles en Nogada.
Here’s a run-down of Mexico’s Día de la Independencia. On September 16, 1810, Mexico declared it’s independence from Spain through “El Grito” from Dolores, which signified the beginning of a war that lasted until 1821. El Grito is a custom that continues today. Every year the president of every state, municipality, pueblo, etc., says El Grito in the town/city square on the eve of September 15. For Mexico City, the President of Mexico says El Grito in the Zocalo every year around 11pm. Not knowing the next time I will be in Mexico for their Independence Day, I wanted to do whatever would give me the most “authentic” experience. El Zocalo it is!
A few days before the actual El Grito, one of my co-workers, Karen, gave me a tour of El Zocalo and the surrounding areas so I would know where to go during the actual celebration. Karen is an undergraduate student at UNAM and works in the same office as me at MásNegocio, and I know she will be a great friend and confidant during my stay here. She has been so helpful, kind and patient with me as I tackle this whole Spanish thing again. Anyway, we met on Friday night to see the lights turn on the first time in the square. We also bought some festive wear, took a ton of pictures and had some great tacos al pastor with some of her relatives that were kind enough to pick us up in their car. Karen, si estás leyendo, estoy muy agradecida para ti y tenía un tiempo excelente contigo 🙂 Estoy emocionada para nuestras aventuras próximas!
After working half a day on the following Monday, a few BBs and myself set out for the Zocalo. When we got to the Zocalo (around 7pm) there was a large concert in the center of the square, but we opted to stand closer to the Palacio where Enrique Peña Nieto would give El Grito at 11pm. Here’s a few photos of the Zocalo while we were waiting…
After several hours of listening to the fun concerts, it was finally time for “El Grito”. Here’s a typical “El Grito” that we heard Peña Nieto say just a few feet from us!
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria!
¡Víva Hidalgo! ¡Viva Morelos! ¡Viva Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez! ¡Viva Allende! ¡Vivan Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la independencia nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!
After El Grito, there was a beautiful fireworks display around the Cathedral. Once again, pictures won’t do the experience justice, but I’m always up for a challenge 🙂