Many people think — falsely — that Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is Mexco’s Independence Day, but it’s not! Mexico’s Independence Day is September 16th. ¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Mexico!
Mexico’s Independence Day was kicked off by a Roman Catholic priest named Hidalgo.
As Wikipedia tells us:
The Grito de Dolores (“Cry of Dolores”) also known as El Grito de la Independencia (“Cry of Independence”), uttered from the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato on September 16, 1810 is the event that marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence and is the most important national holiday observed in Mexico. The “Grito” was the pronunciamiento of the Mexican War of Independence by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest.
Hidalgo and several criollos were involved in a planned revolt against the Spanish colonial government, and the plotters were betrayed. Fearing his arrest, Hidalgo commanded his brother Mauricio, as well as Ignacio Allende and Mariano Abasolo to go with a number of other armed men to make the sheriff release the pro-independence inmates there on the night of 15 September. They managed to set eighty free. Around 6:00 am September 16, 1810, Hidalgo ordered the church bells to be rung and gathered his congregation. Flanked by Allende and Juan Aldama, he addressed the people in front of his church, encouraging them to revolt.
The Battle of Guanajuato, the first major engagement of the insurgency, occurred 4 days later. Mexico’s independence would not be effectively declared from Spain in the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire until September 27, 1821, after a decade of war.
Not only is September 16th Mexico’s Independence Day, it’s also my late father’s birthday. He would have been 77 this year.
We enjoy celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day in our house. I believe one should never pass up a reason to celebrate. For me, personally, not only is September 16th a great excuse for eating delicious TexMex (although TexMex is so delicious and versatile, it makes any occasion special 😉 ), it also commemorates my late father’s birthday.
Daddy and I had what grew into a difficult relationship — we were estranged the last 10 years of his life — but for me, his birthday and Mexico’s Independence Day are always linked. On this day, I always remember one of the last of his birthdays we spent together, our sitting in a Mexican restaurant on his birthday, chips and salsa and queso on the table, frozen margaritas in hand, and his telling me that we were celebrating not only his birthday, but Mexico’s Independence Day, as well. And I think of his 50th birthday celebration, when I flew in as a surprise guest (thank you, Jan!).
When Mexico’s Independence Day comes around, I view it as an excellent excuse to change my whole latitude 😉 by splurging on some Corona Light (with lime, of course!) and/or maybe a Carb-Conscious (no-sugar-added) lime margarita on the rocks.
For Mexico’s Independence Day (and my late dad’s birthday), I often like to make something that I don’t usually make — such as my own salsa, flour tortillas, charro beans (absolutely delicious!) — or try some kind of new recipe. It was through trying a new recipe that I discovered that hubby loves, loves, LOVES chimichangas. 🙂 For my beloved, chimichanga means fiesta!
So have a Fiesta tomorrow! You can start the day out with Breakfast Tacos or perhaps Migas. Your options for lunch and supper are myriad and yummy — just a quick search on my blog alone yields variations on enchiladas — including spinach enchiladas — chimichangas, charro beans, brisket tacos or double-decker tacos, fish fajitas, black bean soup, taco soup…and much more!
¡Feliz Fiesta! ¡Feliz Cumpleaños, Mexico!
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