Gather around my friends, this is the real story about September 16th or Mexican Independence Day.
In the early 1800s, Mexico decided it had had enough of Spain’s rule and that it was time for a revolution. With help from the U.S. and France, the country started to plan. One of the leaders of the revolution, Padre Miguel Hidalgo, was intending to revolt with his men in the late fall; the Spanish found out and called for the immediate arrest of Hidalgo and his officers. Hidalgo was alerted to this impending arrest and held a meeting at his church in Dolores, Guanajuato, Mexico, ringing the bell on the night of September 15th, 1810 calling his congregation to mass. He urged them to fight, giving a speech known as El Grito de Dolores or The Cry of Dolores. He cried ¡Viva México!, ¡Viva la Independencia! — ‘may Mexico live on’ and ‘may independence live on’ during the speech, giving way to some of the country’s most famous battle cries.
This war gaining Mexico its independence from the Spanish empire ran from September 16, 1810 to September 27, 1821, finally ending 300 years of unjust servitude and humiliation of those born in Mexico, for both Spaniards and Mexicans and the African people brought from Spain to work for them.
I highly recommend a visit to Mexico during these days. The celebration starts the night of September 15th with the current president of Mexico giving ‘El Grito’ in El Zocalo Capitalino. After that the party starts and continues on through the 16th; a celebration filled with food, fire works, music, a lot of dancing and, of course, ‘mucho tequila’.
Don’t forget to choose clothes in the colors of the Mexican flag; red, green and white. The women wear their hair in two beautiful braids tied with a red ribbon and the men let their moustaches grow and shape them ‘Pancho Villa’ style, completing their outfits with a Mexican sombrero and cowboy boots!
In Cabo San Lucas many of the hotels celebrate the night of September 15th with a big party where traditional food and drinks are served accompanied by live music. The Cape, a Thompson Hotel, hosts one of the most amazing parties in town. Reserve your space for ‘El Grito’ and come wave your Mexican flag with me, shouting cheers to our independence, Cabo style, with a bottle of Don Julio 1942 and singing ‘Mexico lindo y querido’.
Disclaimer! In countries outside of Mexico, the holiday Cinco De Mayo has become very popular and is often incorrectly labeled as Mexico’s Independence Day. The fifth of May marks the 1862 Battle of Puebla, our country’s victory over France. This misconception is what my mom refers to as ‘harina de otro costal’ – a completely different story!