¡Viva México!

207 years ago on the night of September 15th, a group of revolutionaries lead by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla decided they no longer wanted their land to be part of Spain.  Costilla rallied troops by going to his local church in Dolores, ringing the church bell, and yelling his plans to revolt against the motherland.  This rally led to a revolutionary war that resulted in the birth of Mexico.

Every year on the night of September 15th, people gather in town squares and Mayors, Governors, and the President of Mexico recites the official grito (or chant), and the citizens celebrate the unofficial birthday of the country.

Down here, the big party starts about two or three weeks before the big day.  Pretty much everything that doesn’t move downtown is draped in red, white, and green plastic, Mexican flags, or streamers.  Bands perform in zocalos (squares), and there's dancing…lots of dancing. 

The interior of the governor's mansion was decorated for the big day. 

At first I was shocked that there was a huge Mexican flag hanging in the front of our church.  Then I learned the green in the flag symbolizes Mexico's independence, the white symbolizes Catholicism, and the red symbolizes the union of both. 
The school hallways were also dressed up for the occasion.
On Friday the 15th, kids at school dressed up in native Mexican apparel and held a flag ceremony/ reenactment of 1810.  Out of respect for the kids’ privacy, I’m not going to post pictures of students however I was able to capture some of the kid free highlights.
The teachers were told to dress up in traditional Mexican costumes or festive Mexican attire.  Despite the fact that this outfit is a little more Madonna wannabe than Frida, it won me a piece of pizza!  

Some of the Spanish teachers participated in a reenactment of the Grito de Dolores.
 After school Chris and I Ubered downtown for some dinner.  While in the car, the Uber driver tried to convince us that we needed to drink two liters of tequila that night.  Apparently, it is extremely popular to drink Tequila on Independence day. We value our lives so we decided to pass on his advice.  We ended up catching an early dinner at a pizza and rib joint downtown and headed to the square for some live music and the grito.
Our first stop was at a K-pop rooftop restaurant.  While the decor was festive, we wanted to eat something a little more western.
This was better.
Folks came from all over Mexico to celebrate the big day.

While we waited for the main event, we enjoyed a performance by the Banda del Estado in the Plaza del Armas.

Drones were flying over the crowd to get some areal coverage on the jumbotron.

A couple of new friends decided to break out the cascarones, or egg shells filled with confetti, while we were waiting.   Chris was not amused.
At about 10:30, I realized I purchased face paint, not festive streamers. So I put on my game face and joined in the celebration.

After a couple of hours of live entertainment for a couple hours, it was finally time for the Grito!!
The official festivities started with a flag ceremony.  When the flag passes by,  Mexican citizens hold their hands straight across their chests. 

Governor Domínguez Servién and his family enjoy some post grito fireworks.

I was very amused by the founders shaped displays. 
One must be very careful at Mexican fireworks displays...
I was hit by a few ashes and scraps of cardboard.
When the festivities were over, Chris and I waited for traffic to die down in another establishment and Ubered home. 

The following day, Grito de Dolores, we were absolutely exhausted from the previous night’s fun so we slept in.  Eventually we went out for some traditional Independence Day grub…Pozole.

Pozole is a soup that is traditionally made with pork and hominy.  Folks usually eat this stew on independence day because it's colors are the same as the Mexican flag. 
Pozole is usually served with radishes, onion, lettuce, and oregano.  After this meal, I was very ready to take a siesta.
There was a parade and many festivities downtown. Many people celebrated with family and friends, or took a weekend getaway.  Chris and I decided to pass on the traffic insanity and enjoy the remainder of our day at home.

Happy birthday Mexico!  Up to this point you have been very good to me.  So…

¡Viva Hidalgo!
¡Viva Morelos!
¡Viva Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez!
¡Viva Allende!
¡Vivan Galena y los Bravos!
¡Vivan Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la independencia nacional!

¡Viva Querétaro!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

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