Celebrating Mexican Independence Day!
Many people often confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence Day, which couldn't be any further from the real history and traditions of this holiday. It's often unknown outside of Mexico, but is celebrated beginning tonight, September 15th, with the famous "el grito." Learn more about how this holiday is celebrated below.
Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on the night of September 15th with el grito (the cry of independence) in town plazas, and all day on the 16th with festive decorations, delicious traditional foods, lively parades, and boisterous patriotic displays. Whether you're celebrating in Mexico or elsewhere, this is the perfect time to celebrate Mexican culture and national identity. Here are some ways you can get into the Mexican patriotic spirit and celebrate Mexico's independence.
1. Listen to Mariachi Music
Any dull occasion will suddenly liven up with the addition of mariachis. Mariachi music originated in the state of Jalisco but is now considered the quintessential Mexican music. Made up of a group of five or more musicians wearing charro suits, a mariachi band lends a festive atmosphere to any event. A live mariachi group is best, but in a pinch recorded music will do just fine. Learn some of the lyrics ahead of time so you can sing along.
2. Learn About the Mexican Flag
The first flag of Mexico was established in 1821, the year Mexico gained independence. The "tricolor" contained the national colors of red, white, and green in diagonal stripes. The colors have remained the same, but their placement and the crest in the center of the flag has changed over time. Each of the three colors has a specific meaning; it is said that the color green represents hope, white is for unity, and red is for the blood of the national heroes. The crest in the center panel is Mexico's coat of arms and portrays an eagle with a snake in its beak standing on a cactus, which comes from the legend of how Tenochtitlan (the Aztec capital where Mexico City is now) was founded.