Walk around almost any town or city in Mexico during the month of September and you’ll see streets, town squares, schools, shops, and commercial centers being dressed in patriotic decorations showing-off a display of green, white and red— Mexico’s official colors.
The ideal month to buy a Mexican flag
Ambulant vendors selling Mexican flags are everywhere during the first half of September. If you’re looking for a Mexican flag, this is the easiest time of year to acquire one, as almost every major street corner has someone selling them, from the small plastic flags which attach to a car or window, to colossal flags of monumental proportions—and everything in between.
200 years of El Grito
September 16th is Mexico’s official Independence Day and a national holiday, marking the events that led to the creation of the Mexican Republic following three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
On the night of September 15th, state officials in towns and cities across the country re-enact Miguel Hidalgo’s pre-dawn grito de independencia (cry of independence), which originally took place in the small town of Dolores Hidalgo, near San Miguel de Allende, in 1810.
Key provincial cities where independence is celebrated
The most popular provincial cities to attend for Independence Day celebrations are San Miguel de Allende and nearby Dolores Hidalgo—the ‘cradle towns’ of the independence movement. Other popular provincial cities where lively celebrations take place include Guanajuato, Querétaro, Oaxaca, and Puebla, although celebrations are national and every town and city will mark the occasion in its town square.
The capital’s zócalo — focal point for the national festivities
In Mexico City, the capital’s zócalo (main square) traditionally swells with thousands of people who attend to hear the country’s President re-enact the grito from the balcony of the National Palace.
Traditionally, egg-shells filled with confetti are thrown and crushed on people during the celebrations, so we also recommend that leave your ‘Sunday best’ clothes in the wardrobe if you attend a local fiesta—at the town square, or elsewhere.
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Who is Mexico becoming independent from and why?
Mexico declared independence from Spain in 1810 and fought 11 years until 1821 when they concluded their war for independence. Why is complex; one main reason is the treatment of Mexican-born Spaniards was different/worse than of those born in Spain. They did not have the same rights as those born actually in Spain and were growing tired of it. Also, Napoleon had conquered Spain and installed a relative as the new king, and many of the Mexican Spaniards did not feel loyalty to the new king, who they saw as not truly entitled to the throne vs the Spanish lineage royalty. So it was easier for them to gather a resistance and to rebel, although there was still a large proportion of loyalists who wanted to remain as part of Spain.
Additionally, there was the revolutionary independence movements common to the period which had been started first by the USA, then the French shortly after, then spread among other western nation colonies. It was thus also the product of the changes in political thinking of the times.