In the early hours of September 16th, 1810, Father Hidalgo rang the bell of his little church, calling everyone to seek their independence from Spain and fight for liberty. It is this moment that is reenacted every 16th of September in every plaza or zócalo of Mexico, and commemorated by Mexicans all over the world.
Flags wave from practically every house and building. Streets, houses, buildings and cars are also decorated everywhere in the country, with sombreros and rehiletes (pinwheels), all in our National Colors of green, white and red. Massive light decorations are also mounted in every city. The main plaza of every town and city is the place where the great 16 De Septiembre celebrations take place. Here live Mariachi Music bands play and the euphoria is collective.
All are prepared to shout, yell and make as much noise as possible with trumpets, noisemakers and whistles! The moment of culmination comes at 11:00pm, when a government official arrives in the zócalo to lead the people in the grito or cry of Independence. This ritual recreates the moment in which Father Hidalgo gathered his followers in Dolores, Guanajuato.
The ceremony reaches the high point when the crowd joins in proudly shouting out the names of the heroes of our Independence, ending with the exciting VIVA MÉXICO!
When the grito ceremony ends, the sky lights up with multicolored rockets and fireworks that reflect our pride in knowing that we are a free and independent nation Food is always a very important part of these festivities. The streets are filled with vendors offering traditional antojitos -most aptly described as a variety of finger foods, snacks and light meals. September is a wonderful time to celebrate the essence of Mexico and all that makes it great!