Monday, September 19, 2011

Viva México! Celebrating 201 years

Last week Mexico celebrated it's 201st anniversary of independence. Leading up to the celebration, flags, decorations and independence memorabilia started showing up everywhere: huge banners draped from buildings; pushcarts selling hats, flags and souvenirs all over the city; light-up flags for sale outside the metro; and everything decorated in red, white and green.

Like every year, the night of the 15th (last Thurs) commemorates el Grito de Dolores or el Grito de la Independencia (shout of independence), which was first made by Miguel Hidalgo in 1810 and marked the beginning of the war of independence against Spain. It's celebrated throughout the country, though a main celebration is in the Zócalo, where the president gives the traditional grito from the National Palace. September 16th is Independence Day and includes, among other events, a military parade from the Zócalo to Paseo de la Reforma.

Last year I traveled during the bicentennial, including to Dolores Hidalgo (where Miguel Hidalgo uttered the grito in 1810), San Miguel de Allende (the first municipality freed from Spanish rule) and Guanajuato (click on the names to see the blog updates from the 2010 trip).

This year I was out of the country (enjoying a quick visit home!) during the Independence celebration, so I missed all the festivities, but here's a video from the Associated Press from the celebration in the Zócalo Thursday night:

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