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September 16th "Mexican Independence Day"

Mexican Independence Day is one of the biggest celebrations of the year.  On September 15th the celebrations begin.  The towns have Mexican flags strung across all the streets in and near the City Hall as well lining the major streets.  Attached to the light posts are wooden structures that hold fireworks.  At aprx. 11:00 p.m. the Mayor comes out from the Municipal building and gives a re-enactment of the famous speech of Father Hidalgo and the cries of “VIVA MEXICO” and “VIVA la Independencia” can be heard as well as the singing of the National Anthem. After all the pomp and circumstances are over, the fireworks are lit off and the party begins. The food vendors have been busy setting up for days and the bands are all over town. Streets are blocked off for the bands and the street dancing. A lot of businesses close. The banks, government offices, utility companies etc. are closed on the 16th, so if are planning on being in Puerto Peñasco, make sure you are stocked up. Be prepared to be part of the party as they will go on until dawn.

El Grito

I  recently read that  Chiles en Nogada are to Mexicans like hot dogs are to our July 4th. The reason for this is when you make them you use Pablano chilies (which are very dark green) that are stuffed with a variety of things. You then make a walnut cream sauce to pour over the stuffed Poblano’s and then sprinkle Pomegranate seed’s over the top, hence you have the colors of the Mexican Flag… red, white and green. Although time consuming to make, it is one of our favorite Mexican dishes to make.

Chili en Nogada Mexican Dish

It was on September 15th, 1810 that Father Hidalgo, who was planning a revolt against the Spanish Government got wind that he was going to be arrested, so he gathered all the people and gave his speech known as the “Grito de Dolores” or “Cry of Dolores”. This was the start of the war. It was a fight for independence that lasted 11 years. On September 27, 1821 Mexico finally won it’s independence from Spain. It was a bloody war and along the way many lives were lost. Father Hidalgo was very popular and had a huge following of poor farmer’s and civilians who rallied to fight with him despite the primitive weapons they had to use. On the 16th when Father Hidalgo rang the church bells and he announced his strike for independence and  he was able to recruit over 600 men in a very short period of time.

Miguel Hidalgo by Jose Clemente Orozoco

After having driven to San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato it is hard to fathom the destruction that ensued in just Guanajuato alone and how many lives were lost and town was looted. Within a year of the start of the battle Father Hidalgo was killed and his remains are in Mexico City in a monument called “the Angel of Independence” as well as are a lot of other heros of the revolution.

Angel of Independence

Although they won their independence in 1821 it was not until 1823 was the 1st Presidential election held in Mexico. The first President was Guadalupe Victoria and his term was from 1825-1829. It is interesting when you live in Puerto Peñasco, you always wonder how the streets got their names. Many of them are names of former Presidents or even Father Hidalgo himself.
This is just a brief writing on how this holiday came about, so I hope you will plan to come to Puerto Peñasco and join in the celebration. People will start gathering on Benito Juarez and Freemont around 6 p.m., have food and then the party gets going around 8 p.m. or 9p.m.  It is very impressive to see, but the crowds will be large so be prepared.