Mexico’s independence from Spain is celebrated on September 16 to honor the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. Mexican patriotic spirit is personified in many traditions commemorated over September and October.
In September, Mexico’s streets and roads are adorned with the beautiful colors of the Mexican flag, green, white, and red. The festivities start when people gather in the plazas throughout the country to yell “Viva México”! Then, on the night of September 15 and 16, you’ll find parades, fireworks, concerts, and other public events.
When Is Mexican Independence Day?
Many people mistake Mexican Independence Day with Cinco de Mayo (May 5), a different event (and a much lesser one in Mexico) that memorializes Mexico’s triumph over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 throughout the Franco-Mexican War.
On the other hand, Mexican Independence Day is the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. It’s among Las Fiestas Patrias (the patriotic events), which begins on the evening of September 15 and all day on September 16 annually in cities throughout Latin America.
This is one of the biggest fiestas of the year in Mexico. The entire month of September is described as el Mes de la Patria (month of the homeland).
El Grito de Dolores
Mexico’s War of Independence started on September 16, 1810, when priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the church bell and cried out to the townspeople to rebel. This is known as “El Grito de Dolores” (the cry of Dolores) in Guanajuato, Mexico. Within no time, the priest had constructed a rowdy and huge yet tenacious crowd to march with him towards Mexico City, triggering the uprising against the Spanish.
Every year, cities throughout Mexico honor this historical day by shouting “Viva México!” and stating El Grito. The most prominent locations to commemorate El Grito in Mexico consist of Mexico City’s primary square, the Zocalo, where the Mexican head of state starts El Grito from the terrace of the Palacio Nacional.
The Mexican War of Independence
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed dispute between Mexico’s people and Spanish colonial authorities which lasted more than a year and finished by finalizing the Treaty of Córdoba on August 24, 1821, ending three centuries of Spanish rule.
How to Celebrate
Mexican Independence Day is commemorated with fireworks, flags, food, concerts, displays, and ceremonies. On the evening of September 15, El Grito de Dolores is re-enacted by regional political leaders in the plazas of many cities and communities throughout the nation.
On 16 de Septiembre, ceremonies and public events celebrate Mexico’s freedom. However, 16 de Septiembre is a legal holiday in Mexico, so all colleges, financial institutions, and government offices are closed.
The decor and fiestas include Mexico’s national icons (los simbolos patrios): Mexico’s flag, coat of arms, and the nationwide anthem. In addition, you can buy souvenirs from street vendors and markets in cities throughout the nation.
Patriotic Mexican Foods
Displaying red, green, and white during the fiestas aren’t the only ways to commemorate Mexican Independence Day. People gather to eat traditional Mexican foods during this holiday. For example, Chiles en Nogada is a Mexican dish with shades of the Mexican flag, and it was a favored food during this time.
Pozole, a soup constructed from hominy and pork, is also a preferred food for Independence Day parties. Tequila and mezcal are the preferred beverages, along with any Mexican Cervezas.
No matter how you celebrate, 16 de Septiembre is a time to come together with family and friends and enjoy great food, spirits, and Mexico’s Independence! ¡Viva Mexico!
There’s nothing more Mexican than a traditional dish like pozole. I’ve added our family recipe below. Pozole is a rich, hearty, delicious soup made with pork and hominy during fiestas like 16 de Septiembre or Christmas festivities. Regardless, you can make this anytime you feel like it. It’s excellent during the winter months.
There are many variations. If you don’t eat pork, you can substitute it with chicken. You can add lettuce or cabbage, depending on where you grew up. Usually, pozole has fresh ingredients like dried hominy (hulled and dried kernels of corn) and pig head meat, but we’re not going that route. This dish will be semi-homemade. This recipe is the stuff I grew up eating, and it never disappoints. ¡Buen Provecho!
- 4 quarts of water
- 2 pounds cubed pork shoulder
- 1 pound pork spare ribs or baby back ribs
- 1 white onion cut into quarts
- 8 large garlic cloves
- 3 cans (15 ounces each) of white hominy, drained and rinsed
- salt to taste
the red sauce
- 5 guajillo peppers cleaned, seeded, and deveined
- 5 ancho peppers cleaned, seeded, and deveined
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 medium white onion coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dry Mexican oregano
- 2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 head of cabbage finely shredded or lettuce
- 1 ½ cup onions finely chopped
- Ground chile piquín to taste
- 1 ½ cup radishes sliced
- Mexican oregano
- Limes cut in wedges
- Avocado slices-optional
- Include pork meat, extra ribs, onion, and garlic in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer, partly covered for two and half hours or up until meat is tender and falling off the bone—season with salt when meat is nearly done. Remove the top layer of foam using a ladle or spoon while it cooks. If the broth is low, add warm water to the pot.
- Get rid of pork from broth; reserve broth. Cut excess fat, remove meat from bones, dispose of bones, and set aside onion and garlic from the broth: Shred meat and cover.
- Now for the sauce, soak the ancho and guajillo peppers in water simply enough to cover for 25-30 minutes till soft.
- Utilizing a mixer or processor, mix peppers, garlic cloves, onion, and oregano, including a few of the water they were soaking. Puree mix till smooth.
- Heat oil in a big frying pan over medium-high. Include the dry pepper puree and salt to taste, continuously stirring. Minimize heat to medium; simmer for about 25 minutes.
- Utilizing a strainer, include the sauce in the broth. Bring to a boil and include the meat, and simmer carefully for about 10 minutes. Add hominy and season with salt and pepper.
- Enjoy and serve!
Last Updated on 07/13/22 by Darlingdew Lifestyle Staff