September 15th is the day when thousands of Mexicans gather together to shout:
Mexico’s Independence Day is one of the favourite traditional celebrations of the country. During September, streets are coloured with green, white and red and you find people selling flags, ornaments, whistles or even fake moustaches to decorate Mexican homes and celebrate “El Grito” (literally translated as “The shout” but also known as the President’s Call for Independence).
“El Grito” refers to the moment of the Independence Ceremony when, before chanting Mexico’s Anthem, the President comes out to the National Palace’s balcony and shouts: ¡Viva México! People gathered in Zócalo (official name for the National Palace’s esplanade) shouts back a loud: “Viva”. The Independence heroes are also remembered and the bells located in the Palace announce the ending of the President’s speech.
The biggest celebration always happens at Zócalo. Fireworks illuminate the area with the flag’s colours and Mariachi music joins the people’s celebration in Mexico’s City centre.
Due to the fact that September 15th is a National celebration, the majority of Mexico’s citizens have a couple of days off and thousands of them leave the city looking for some peace (but not without celebrating the big day of course!).
The Independence Day is not a mandatory family celebration. Many families organise big parties to celebrate with family members and friends; some of them even cook Mexican traditional dishes such as Pozole and Buñuelos. Mexican youth usually attend to parties organised by bars or discos and celebrate all night long.
On September 16th, takes place the Independence March in which army nurses, marines, army members and people wearing traditional clothing walk along the main avenues of the city’s centre.
Last year, Mexico celebrated its 200 years as an Independent Nation and many events were organised by volunteers to commemorate this day. A large clock was located in Zócalo to count down the time left for the big event and limited edition coins with the independence heroes faces on them were released. Many countries, like Spain and USA, shared the excitement and joy of this date by dedicating spaces to show traditional dances or antique Mexican handicraft.
This year will not be different and millions of Mexicans are ready to shout: ¡Viva México!
To watch some of the 200th Independence Celebration click on this link (in Spanish!):