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Things You Should Need To Know About Mexico Independence Day, It’s Not Cinco de Mayo



Things You Should Need To Know About Mexico Independence Day, It's Not Cinco de Mayo

Even those who identify as Mexican frequently mistake Mexico’s Independence Day, observed on September 16, with the US-centric “Cinco de Mayo” festival.

According to data from the UCLA Latino Policy Institute, the state of Arizona has a historical connection to Mexico, with 89% of its population being of Mexican origin. However, people who were raised and educated in Mexico have different memories of how and when Mexico’s independence was celebrated.

Here’s what you need to know about how the fight for independence in Mexico began and how that celebration has transcended borders more than 200 years later, in light of the celebrations taking place across the United States, particularly in Arizona.

How is Mexico Independence Day celebrated?

Since the 16th marks the beginning of the war for independence against Spanish soldiers, who ruled the country for more than 300 years, September is referred to as the patriotic month in Mexico.

As the days go by, more street sellers appear offering a variety of Mexican flags, rattles, and traditional apparel such as zarapes, huaraches, and peasant blouses and skirts.

Students meet for patriotic events where Mexican food is shared folkloric ballet is performed, and classrooms are decked with green, white, and red papel picado.

El Grito de Dolores: What is it? how the fight started

The performance of “El Grito de Dolores,” a battle cry, was inspired by the early morning of September 16, 1810, when Catholic priest Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang his parish’s bells and urged the Mexican population to take up arms against the Spanish in a fight that would last 11 years, characterizes this celebration.

The war cry is performed annually in the nation’s capital Mexico City’s National Palace. The Mexican national song is playing as a military escort made up of students from the Heroic Military College presents the flag to the country’s current president inside the building in the Ambassadors Hall.

The same cry, which includes the names of independence heroes like Miguel Hidalgo, José María Morelos y Pavón, Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, and Ignacio Allende, is then chanted by the president as he makes his way to the balcony and greets the people gathered in the Zócalo esplanade.

Cities and organizations across the nation organize events in honor of this holiday so that people can interact and discover Mexican culture.

How is Mexican Independence Day celebrated in the US?

The “El Grito” ceremony at the Arizona Capitol will be held for the second time in a row by the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix.

The Mexican General Consulate, which has offices in significant cities including Miami, New York, and Las Vegas, coordinates community events that include a battle cry performance. In cities with significant Mexican populations, numerous institutions, media outlets, and local organizations plan events.

The day is always celebrated in a big fashion and often attempts to educate and underline the significance of the day for individuals who dwell in the United States, from El Grito ceremonies and concerts starring well-known Mexican performers to art exhibitions and festivals for the whole family.

Irasema Coronado, director of the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University, says that due to its proximity to Mexico, this state has a reciprocal tradition-sharing and cultural interchange between generations of Mexican Americans.

“A lot of people who come from Mexico and who were socialized and educated in Mexico obviously have a different connection with Mexican holidays because they grew up with them, just as we grew up with the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Presidents Day. That becomes part of who we are and what we know,” Coronado said. “But some of the more recent (Mexican American) generations and some of the younger ones don’t have the same type of identification with those holidays” because they didn’t grow up with them.

Mexico Independence Day vs Cinco de Mayo

According to Coronado, there is a lot of confusion in the United States concerning the real date that Mexico celebrates Independence Day.

“May 5 has become a completely commercialized holiday to celebrate in a big way, right? There are even people who tell you, ‘Have a happy Cinco de Mayo,’ and that is not at all part of the reason why May 5th is celebrated. It is a very misunderstood holiday and I think Sept. 16 is the same.”

May 5 is now recognized as a day to honor Mexican culture in the United States, but it is only a minor holiday in Mexico. The “Battle of Puebla,” as it is also known, honors the victory over French troops that invaded Mexico in 1862 to establish their empire there.

Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed in the United States between September 15 and October 15, is another commemoration that coincides with the anniversary of Mexican independence.

Events honoring the achievements, traditions, and stories of people of Latino or Hispanic heritage are planned throughout the month.

Since 1968, this month has been a legal holiday thanks to President Lyndon Johnson. Several Latin American nations, including Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, mark the anniversary of their independence during this time.

Coronado asserted that it is the responsibility of Latinos of Mexican descent to research the histories of both the US and Mexico to comprehend the significance of their relationship and to inform others of the significance of appropriately commemorating Mexico’s origins.

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