2020 Independence Day Celebrations in Mexico
Due to Covid, Independence Day celebrations will not be celebrated with public gatherings this year in Mexico. The annual “Cry of Dolores,” El Grito de Independencia, and its related civic events in the National Palace, will be televised and streamed on Social Media, but Mexico City’s main square —as well as town squares across the country— will be sealed-off to visitors this year. The military parade that takes place each year on September 16th in Mexico City will go ahead, but without any public participation.
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 reds, whites, and greens— Mexico’s official colors.
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.
September 16th is Mexico’s official Independence Day and a national holiday. 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. The festivities which take place to celebrate the country’s independence are some of the liveliest you’ll experience in Mexico.
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.
In Mexico City, the capital’s zócalo (main square) swells with thousands of people who attend to hear the country’s President re-enact the grito from the balcony of the National Palace. If you want to experience the atmosphere of Independence Day celebrations in downtown Mexico City on the night of the 15th, it’s advisable to arrive early, and use the capital’s Metro system to get there and away. (Line 2 of the Metro takes you to the heart of the city: alight at the station named ‘Zocalo’ and you’ll step-up and out from there on to the city’s main square.)
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.
No Public Participation in Civic Ceremonies in 2020
There will be no public participation at public squares and plazas this year. The main civic event will be televised/streamed online from Mexico City, but public areas around plazas and squares will be sealed-off to the public.
In 2020, September 15th and 16th fall midweek—on a Tuesday and Wednesday.
The usual rush of travel at bus stations, roads, and in and around plazas will not materialize this year, as the civic events will be televised and the public is being asked to stay at home.
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