Mexican Independence Day 2010: Remembering El Grito de Independencia 200 yrs ago- Viva Mexico! Today is September 16, 2010 and it’s 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence Day or in Spanish “Bicentenario Mexico”. Happy El Grito de Independencia de Mexico to all Mexicans!
Mexican Independence Day’s history dates back in September 16, 1810 when it was declared by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest of progressive ideas in the small town of Dolores with a proclamation known as the “Grito de Dolores”.
The Grito de Dolores or “Cry of Dolores” is a battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence against Spanish colonial government. About 200 years ago, just before the midnight of September 15, 1810, Hidalgo ordered the church bells to be rung and gathered his congregation. Flanked by Ignacio Allende, the captain of the Spanish Army in Mexico and Juan Aldama, a Mexican revolutionary rebel soldier, he addressed the Mexicans in front of his church, encouraging them to revolt saying:
“My children: a new dispensation comes to us today. Will you receive it? Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen by 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 gachupines!”
Since then, Hidalgo y Costilla’s “Cry of Independence” has become emblematic of Mexican independence. Each year on the night of September 15, the President of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City. He repeats a cry of patriotism (a Grito Mexicano) based upon the “Grito de Dolores” from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in the Plaza de la Constitución, one of the largest public plazas in the world. This event draws up to half a million spectators. This year 2010, President Calderon would call upon Mexicans to use the Mexican Independence Day to reflect on where the country has been and to think about what kind of Mexico descendents will inherit in the future
On the dawn of September 16 or the Mexican Independence Day itself, the national military parade starts in the Zócalo, passes the Hidalgo Memorial and ends on the Paseo de la Reforma, Mexico City’s main boulevard. All of Mexico’s 31 states and the Federal District of Mexico City have set up their own Bicentennial commissions on Mexican Independence Day, with the first meeting of state commissions in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, which has been declared the “Capital of the Bicentennial. Happy 200th anniversary of the Mexican Independence Day to all Mexicans! VIVA Mexico!