news, gossip and scenes

Mexican Day of Independence Celebrated at Hidalgo Memorial

In Community, Dolores Park, mission, Mission Dolores on September 17, 2009 at 8:58 am


Patriots and San Franciscans prepare to commemorate Miguel Hidalgo's "cry of independence"


Each year, here in Dolores Park and throughout Mexico,  Miguel Hidalgo’s declaration of independence, “the Grito de Dolores”, is remembered. On the night of September 15, 1810 Hidalgo rang the church bells in the town of Dolores and gathered his people. His address ended with the cry, Viva Mexico.

 Since the late 19th century, 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 re-enacts the event by ringing the bells of the National Palace in Mexico City. He repeats a cry of patriotism based upon the “Grito de Dolores” from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in the Plaza de la Constitución, or Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world. This event draws up to half a million spectators. On the dawn of September 16, or Independence Day, 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.

A similar celebration, albeit on a smaller scale, occurs in cities and towns all over Mexico. The mayor (or governor, in the case of state capitals), rings a bell and gives the traditional words.

In the 20th century, it became common practice for Mexican presidents in their final year in office to re-enact the Grito in Dolores Hidalgo, rather than in the National Palace. President Calderón is expected to officiate the Grito in Dolores Hidalgo as part of the bicentennial celebrations in 2010.


The following day, September 16 is Independence Day in Mexico and is considered a patrio

tic holiday, or fiesta patria (literally, holiday of the fatherland)


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