Mexico’s El Grito de la Independencia

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Photo by gen gibler

Tonight everyone in Mexico will be celebrating a lo grande during what is the most important and symbolic fiesta for the country:  El Grito de la Independencia.

El Grito (or the “cry for Independence”) is a tradition that commemorates the original grito given by pastor Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in the town of Dolores, Guanajuato back in 1810 to gather all to join the rebellion against the Spanish colonizers. This moment marks the official beginning of the 11-year war for independence that ensued and from which Mexico came out victorious.

This original Grito is now a tradition that kicks off a two-day long country-wide celebration known as Fiestas Patrias. Mexicans gather around local plazas, TV sets, cantinas, etc to watch the President and his family  live from the balcony of the National Palace in the Zocalo of Mexico City.  At 11pm on September 15th, the President rings the same bell of the parish of Dolores that was used by Hidalgo–and later moved to the National Palace–and proceeds to give the Grito de Dolores. The Grito includes shouting out loud the names of the heroes of the Mexican War of Independence and ending with three uplifting ¡Viva Mexico! chants which are repeated with the most patriotic fervor by all around the country.  Then, the bell rings one more time and we see the Mexican flag waving in a see of red, green and white while the air is filled with the voices of Mexicans singing their National Anthem.

The symbolism gives you chills, the fervor is contagious and the celebration ignites.

The following day, September 16, is full of more patriotic symbolism and ceremonies such as military parades, festivals and remembrances all over the country.

Last year Mexico celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of its Independence and they went all out with it. This slideshow by Life Magazine illustrates just how rich and colorful the symbolism is during these Fiestas Patrias.

Children’s Books About the Mexican Independence, plus Coloring Sheets

Here are two books we recommend to teach your kids about the rich history of the Mexican Independence {Click on the images for more info}:

 Classroom Jr has a nice collection of printable coloring sheets, like the one below, to celebrate Mexican Independence.  Check them out here.

#MexicoToday Twitter Fiesta!

There are so many celebrations going on today to commemorate the most important of all Mexican national holidays and I want to invite you to a very special one as part of the Mexico Today community. Tomorrow, Friday September 16 at 1pm EST/10am PST, we’ll be hosting a Twitter party to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day.

Please join us using the #MexicoToday hashtag and RSVP on Facebook for more info.

And for even more Mexico goodness, make sure to click on the images you´ll see at the end of this post. These are part of a Mexico Today blog hop where several of the Ambassadors are writing their stories related to the Mexican Independence. Check them out.

Disclosure: I am being compensated for my work in creating and managing content as a Community Manager for the México Today Program. All stories, opinions and passion for all things México shared here and everywhere are completely my own.

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