Find out about Mexico’s Independence Day, celebrated in September … What is it? When is it? Why, and how is it celebrated? And what events are being held on Isla Mujeres to celebrate? … we have all the answers, fiestas, and events here …
One of the most important days in Mexico’s event calendar occurs during the month of September. If you are currently visiting Isla Mujeres or Mexico, you may have started to see a lot more Mexican flags and decorations with the colors of the Mexican flag (red, white, and green) appearing around you - flying from cars, motorbikes, and in shops and restaurants, as well as in the streets. This is because Mexico’s Dia de Independencia (Independence Day) is celebrated in September. It’s a season of immense national pride and patriotism, with fiestas, fireworks, flags, and food!
What is Dia de Independencia and El Grito de Dolores?
Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated over two days, beginning on the evening of September 15th, and on the day of September 16th, it has been celebrated for over 200 years.
The History …
To find out why Mexico celebrates this day we must take a trip back through the history books, back to the early 1500s when Spain took control of Mexico, and it was renamed ‘New Spain’.
For over 300 years the native Mexican people, under harsh Spanish rule, were enslaved and oppressed, unable to hold political posts, with their land and personal wealth confiscated from them, it became too much, and Mexico started to seek independence. In the year 1810, a priest called Father Hidalgo y Costilla (honored and known today as the Father of Mexican Independence), in the town of Dolores in central Mexico, rang his church bells, and gave a speech to his congregation, calling for Mexico’s independence. The speech is known as El Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores). El Grito de Dolores spurred the Mexican population to revolt against Spanish rule, and so the Mexican War of Independence ensued, lasting for over a decade until August 24th, 1821, when Spain withdrew, and Mexico was recognized as independent.
How is Dia de Independencia celebrated?
For over 200 years Dia de Independencia has been celebrated across the country. The president of Mexico, as well as the president of towns around the country, reenact The Cry of Independence, reciting variations of El Grito de Dolores to their town at 11:00 PM on September 15th, the words "¡Viva Mexico!" are called throughout the country, and the night is continued by fireworks often filling the sky in some towns, food, drink, dancing, music, and festivities. The events continue on September 16th.
What events will be held on Isla Mujeres to celebrate?
On the night of September 15th, in Isla Mujeres there will be a parade from 8 PM, that will leave from the north of Avenida Hidalgo, where Stingray is. This parade will lead down the island's main bar and restaurant strip and end at Isla Mujeres' Explanada Municipal, the main square in the island's downtown at the south end of Avenida Hidalgo. Crowds will gather outside of the municipal building, where celebrations will start at 8:30 PM. And, at 10:45 PM the president of the island, Isla Mujeres, Atenea Gómez Ricalde will talk from the balcony of the building, and give a variation of El Grito, ringing the bell at 11 PM. The night is often followed by fireworks, live music, and dancing. This year they have performances from Ninel Conde, and La Fresa y el Sentencia, if you are on the island, go by and join in the celebrations. There will be a live stream of the night of celebrations in Isla Mujeres' main square, available to watch here.
Make a Table Reservation for Dinner ...
The evening of September 15th can get very busy in the island's downtown area, with many people going out for dinner before heading to the main square for El Grito de Dolores, and celebrations from 8:30 PM. We recommend making table reservations for your dinner, especially the street side at some popular restaurants on Avenida Hidalgo, so you can see the parade as it passes, you may need to reserve at are - Xantolo, Oceans, and Lola Valentina. Let us help you, make your reservation here.
Have a great night. ¡Viva Mexico!
Credit for photos - Atenea Gómez Ricalde - Facebook
Thank you for the hard work of President Atenea Gómez Ricalde and her team at the Municipal of Isla Mujeres for providing us with the photos and information, so that we can invite you and keep you up to date with current events on the island.