Happy Los Niños Héroes day, everyone. It’s now time to get ready for Mexican Independence Day! Mexican flags fly freely, festivals and parties are enjoyed by many, and the history of Mexico is remembered.
Before Mexican Independence, Spain ruled over, limiting trade routes and appointing Spaniards to colonial posts in Mexico. Encouraged by the USA winning its freedom a few decades earlier, Mexico was inspired. During Napoleon’s invasion of Spain and the imprisonment of Ferdinand VII (1808), the rebels in Mexico and South America began setting up their own form of government while still claiming loyalty to Spain.
Conspiracies against the Spanish crown began, but nearly a month before the plan was set to take place, it began to unravel. Conspirators were being round up when the plan was found out. Father Miguel Hidalgo (one of the conspiracy leaders) heads of the news and that the Spanish were coming to get him next. In the town of Dolores on September 16th, Hidalgo went to the pulpit to announce he was taking up arms against the Spanish government, inviting those around him to join. His speech, “El Grito de Dolores,” is still remembered today and it lead to the creation of an unruly, poorly armed but determined mob.
Hidalgo and military man Ignacio Allende led the army towards Mexico City, laying siege to Guanajuato and fighting off the Spanish at the Battle of Monte de las Cruces. The army kept getting larger and by the time they arrived at the city, the army was large enough to accomplish their goals. Despite the size and dedication of the army, Hidalgo retreated, possibly in feat of the Spanish army reinforcing the city.
January 1811, Hidalgo and Allende attempted to retreat during the Battle of Calderon because of the well trained small Spanish army. Both men were put to death in June and July of 1811 and many of the rebel leaders involved were captured. At this point, it looked like Spain would retain control over Mexico. José María Morelos (captain of Hidalgo) continued the fight until he, too, was captured and executed in 1815.His lieutenant succeeded him (Vicente Guerro) with the help of Guadalupe Victoria, who fought until 1821 at which time they decided on an agreement with turncoat royal officer Agustín de Iturbide, leading to the liberation of Mexico in September 1821.
Knowing the history behind this holiday is important because knowing why you’re celebrating makes it all the more meaningful. So many people lose sight of how their country gained independence. In Mexico, mayors and politicians re-enact the Grito de Dolores speech. On September 15thin Mexico City, people congregate to hear the President ring the bell Hidalgo rang and the recitation of Hidalgo’s speech and fireworks go off. Throughout the rest of Mexico, people celebrate with parties, parades, dances, and festivals. Families spend time together, placing Mexican flags throughout their home, and feast. Food is often made in the colors of the flag: red, white, and green, much like how Americans celebrate July 4th. Those not living in Mexico still celebrate the independence day of their home country and some cities outside of Mexico still have large celebrations.
Celebrate Mexican Independence day with a Mariachi group, great food, and a love of the country. Even if you’re not from Mexico, celebrate anyway because freedom is what we all strive for. Call us today.