Viva Mexico: How to celebrate Mexican Independence Day

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Viva Mexico: How to celebrate Mexican Independence Day | Mexatia

16th of September – Mexican Independence Day

It is *that* time of the year! In September, Mexico celebrates its Independence day and everything in the country becomes green, white and red. You got it, Mexican Independence day is the major Mexican celebration and it begins on 15 of September, on the eve of the Independence day. 

Every year, when the clock strikes 11 pm on 15th September, the President of Mexico rings the bell and shouts “Viva México!” (check out the entire speech below) from the balcony of the National Palace, before he rings the bell again and waves the flag. He shouts to the crowds gathered on Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City, and the crowds respond “Viva!” to the each shout. It is the modern version of the famous “Grito de Dolores” (Dolores’s shout or cry for the independence) which serves as a reminder on those who fought for free Mexico and marks the beginning of the celebrations and festivities.

Viva Mexico: How to celebrate Mexican Independence Day | Mexatia

President Peña Nieto waving the flag (source)

¡Mexicanos! (Mexicans!)
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria! (Long live the heroes who gave us our homeland!)
¡Viva Hidalgo! (Long live Hidalgo!)
¡Viva Morelos! (Long live Morelos!)
¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez! (Long live Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!)
¡Viva Allende! (Long live Allende!)
¡Vivan Aldama y Matamoros! (Long live Aldama and Matamoros!)
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional! (Long live the independence of our nation!)
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! (Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico!)

Source: Wikipedia

Viva Mexico: How to celebrate Mexican Independence Day | Mexatia

Dolores Hidalgo town in Guanajuato, Mexico (source)

Story about the Grito

The very first Grito happened 206 years ago, on 16 of September 1810 in the small town of Dolores, located in the state of Guanajuato. The local priest Miguel Hidalgo rang the church bells and called the people to fight for independence against Spaniards. It was the first movement which attracted larger crowds and started the 11 years long fight. Even though the independence was officially proclaimed only in 1821, this date is considered to be one of the most important ones in Mexican history. 


No, Cinco de Mayo it is NOT Mexican Independence Day. It marks the triumph of Mexican army against French troops in Puebla in 1862 and it is celebrated more in the USA than in Mexico itself! Battle of Puebla happened more than 50 years after.

Viva Mexico: How to celebrate Mexican Independence Day | Mexatia

Street parade (source)

The celebrations

Today, Mexican Independence day is celebrated with fireworks, parties, food and other festivities. Every state capital has its own military parade. The biggest one is, of course, organized in Mexico City. The parade starts in Campo Marte (next to Chapultepec), continues on Paseo de la Reforma, Avenida Juarez, and 5 de Mayo to finish in Zocalo. Some of the typical dishes for the celebration are pozole, tacos de tinga, cochinita pibil, accompanied by tequila and mezcal.

Mexican flag and other patriotic souvenirs can be found everywhere! Last year we have flown to Europe at the beginning of September and we bought some cute flags, mustache, and chillito (little chili paprika holding the flag and beer) around Zocalo. We are going to use those little souvenirs in this year’s celebration in Croatia.

Viva Mexico: How to celebrate Mexican Independence Day | Mexatia

Fireworks at Zocalo (source)

The place to be around this days is Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico. Located on the corner of Zocalo, it is the perfect place for celebrating the Independence day. Its hotel rooms and terrace offer magnificent views and allow you to enjoy the celebrations without being in the crowd. 


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16 Discussion to this post

  1. Gina Bear says:

    I’m so glad that you love Mexico! It’s always interesting to see other people experience my heritage and how it makes them feel through their eyes. I’m half Mexican and my mother was born and raised in Mexico. You made me drool by mentioning all the amazing Mexican food! I miss it so much!

  2. Interesting! Philippine independence happened 1898 after 333 years of being a Spanish colony. 18th century probably wasn’t a good time for Spaniards. Lol. It looks like a grand event, I wish Filipinos are as patriotic as Mexicans. :-/

    • Haha yes, their time has stopped then. Mexican are all super excited about their national day. Here in Croatia we do not even notice it passed…

  3. Mexico is one of my favorite countries. The people are awesome and they have some of the best foods. How awesome it must have been to be there on their Independence Day and really get to experience the culture!

  4. Miranda says:

    Very interesting post! I know Mexican Independence day isn’t Cinco de Mayo, but most other Americans don’t. lol I would love to see a post on Dia de los Muertos in a couple months. 🙂

    • Thanks Miranda, I hope there will be a post too 🙂 Last year we made just a little celebration for the first time in Croatia, but this year we will try to do some more. My dream is to be in Mexico during those days!

  5. 16 September is my son’s birthday (he just turned 21!). My birthday is 26 January (Australia Day) and my Mum’s is 4 July (American Independence day). I’d say we have a bunch of holiday’s covered in our family. Looks like a very special celebration and glad you had a wonderful day 🙂

  6. GeekGirlGoes says:

    I don’t know much about Mexican culture, but everything I see – like this – makes me love it even more! It seems like such a festive and engaged culture! I’d love to experience Independence Day in Mexico one day! I look forward to reading about your celebrations! 🙂

  7. Lisa says:

    This sounds like so much fun! I love being in a different country for their big celebrations, it makes you feel a little bit more like a local. I bet the food is phenomenal!

  8. Celebrating the Mexican Independence Day in Mexico would be such a great experience! The fireworks at Zocalo looks incredible! And I can only imagine all the food! I love that you also shared that Cinco de Mayo is NOT the Independence Day. I think some wouldn’t even know what it represents. I can’t wait to see how your day of celebrations went.

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