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2025 MexicoSep 16
Mexico Tue, Sep 16National Holiday
2024 MexicoSep 16
Mexico Mon, Sep 16National Holiday
2023 MexicoSep 16
Mexico Sat, Sep 16National Holiday
2022 MexicoSep 16
Mexico Fri, Sep 16National Holiday
2021 MexicoSep 16
Mexico Thu, Sep 16National Holiday

Commemorates the start of the Mexican War of Independence against Spain on September 16th 1810

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When is Mexican Independence Day?

This public holiday is the national day of Mexico and is celebrated on September 16th.

Also known as 'Día de la Independencia' or 'Grito de Dolores', it marks the anniversary of the Mexican War of Independence against Spain on  September 16th 1810.

History of Mexican Independence Day

Specifically, it commemorates a proclamation by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16th 1810, in the village of Dolores, near Guanajuato.

Hidalgo's proclamation called for an end to Spanish rule in Mexico, encouraging rebellion and insurrection against the Spanish.

The Spanish Empire had been broken by Napoleon's invasion of Spain, and imperial rule had been replaced by "juntas" in both Spain and the American colonies, while King Fernando VII was being held hostage by Napoleon.

The Proclamation of Dolores

Hidalgo ordered that the church bell be rung to gather his congregation, then called for insurrection and ended by calling out, Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! Viva Fernando VII! Abajo el mal gobierno! [Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe! Long live Fernando VII! Down with the bad government!].

There are various accounts of what Hidalgo was reputed to have actually said. While the proclamation has gained national status, in reality, it is unlikely that Hidalgo disowned the King as he is supposedly said to have done.

Following his speech, Father Hidalgo raised an army and attempted to overthrow the Junta government, but he was eventually defeated. As his struggle against the establishment continued, he began to demand the full independence of all the Spanish American colonies, and the exile or arrest of all Spaniards within Mexico.

It was only after a ten year long War of Independence that Mexico's independence was finally acknowledged by the Spanish viceroy on September 27th 1821.

How is Mexican Independence Day celebrated?

Since the 1870s, re-enacting the proclamation has become a tradition. Every year, the national celebration begins on the night of September 15th. The Zócalo, one of the world’s largest city squares, serves as the focal point for the festivities in Mexico City, where over 500,000 people assemble each year.

The Mexican President rings Hidalgo's bell (now kept at the National Palace in Mexico City) and repeats Hidalgo's words at 11:00 pm on September 15th. The patriotic yell is met with an enthusiastic response of “Viva!” from the cheering throng. At the conclusion, spectacular pyrotechnics illuminate the night sky.

On September 16th, a military parade takes place in Mexico City.

The day is also commemorated. with bullfights, rodeos, parades, and traditional Mexican dances. The Zócalo, Mexico City’s central plaza, hosts the celebration’s high point during September called Mes de la Patria (month of our nation) while the restaurants serve traditional Mexican dishes.

A common meal prepared to celebrate this holiday is pozole, a spiced soup traditionally made with hominy (died, pork, with radishes and lime.

In 1825, the Republic of Mexico officially declared September 16th as its national Independence Day.

Note: Cinco de Mayo is often confused as being Mexican Independence Day when in fact Cinco de Mayo commemorates a Battle with France in 1862.

Quiz Time

Now you've read about Mexican Independence Day, why not test your knowledge in our short quiz on Mexico?

Did you know?

Three facts about Independence Day

8 out of the 50 U.S. states exist on the land that used to belong to Mexico. Prior to 1822; Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and California were all Spanish colonies.

Anthony Quinn was the first Mexican actor to win an Oscar.

Mexican drug cartels make $152 million annually by growing and selling avocados.

More facts about Independence Day

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