Mexican Independence Day in Yucatan

It is not too late to pick up a Mexican flag to celebrate Independence Day

It is September 16th in Yucatan.  The banks, government offices, many businesses and schools are closed.  Some residents rise at their “normal hour” while others sleep in a little because it is a national holiday.  That- and the fact that they may have been up very late the night before celebrating the “Grito” at countless parties around town or in Plaza Principal in Centro, Merida.

Today’s holiday celebrates the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain in 1810.  There are many beautiful traditions that make this holiday special here in Yucatan and all over the country.  If you are interested in learning more about this holiday and the tie-in with Mexico’s Revolution Day holiday click here.

The first thing you will notice no matter where happen to be here are the colors- green, white and red clad buildings, busses, cars, people, animals and anything else that can be decorated.  Mexican pride is at its height in September- only to be outdone during international sporting events like the World Cup.  The beautiful Mexican flag is on display everywhere you look.  If you don’t have anything patriotic to wear or display you don’t need to worry.  Vendors abound that will sell you a wide array of products to help you celebrate.

The next thing you will notice is a sense of relaxation- like a Sunday.  Those that have a day off are only driving around the city to meet with family or friends.  The celebrations of the night before help to make the morning even less busy than your traditional Sunday.  Some spent the night eating and spending quality time with family and friends.  Others chose a more exciting option- the “Grito.”

The Grito celebrates a cry to action.  Those that ventured to Centro likely cheered in Plaza Principal as the Governor reenacted the events that make this holiday so special- a speech made by Miguel Hidalgo in the town of Dolores, Guanajuato in the early morning hours of September 16, 1810 that encouraged Mexico to fight for freedom from Spain.  Those who attended saw the governor ring a bell, hoist the Mexican flag, present a rousing speech celebrating the heroes of the war for independence and lead in a call-and-response where participants yell “Viva!” and “Viva Mexico!” in unison.  The national anthem was played, hands were raised above hearts and fireworks in green, red and white filled the night sky.

A picture of Chiles en Nogada from the Mexico Cooks! blog. Click here to visit the site.

Back to today.  There is a lot of food to be eaten.  This is great for those nursing a bit of a hangover as well as those who are well rested.  Yucatan is a growing state where Mexicans from all over the country are moving here to experience the safety and quality of life this region is known for.  Traditional foods from other parts of the country have been served here for years.  Now that the population of non-Yucatecan residents is growing so is the influx of cooks who can prepare these dishes- and well!

One of the most popular dishes is Pozole- a pork stew with corn and other ingredients.  This is a dish enjoyed all year round in cities like Guadalajara but is most popular here in September.  Another popular dish from the center of Mexico enjoyed in Yucatan during September  is Chiles en Nogada- a delicious dish that also celebrates the colors of the Mexican flag.   These dishes are great when served fresh but get even better with age.  If you enjoyed a serving last night you likely look forward to a deeper blend of flavors in your serving today.

If you are interested in the recipes for these dishes we recommend visiting a great blog called Mexico Cooks by Cristina Potters.  Her recipe for Pozole can be viewed here and her recipe for Chiles en Nogada can be viewed here.

If you are here in Yucatan today- enjoy the holiday.  We hope you take pleasure in the national pride, food, family and friends that this holiday is famous for whether you are in Mexico or abroad.  Please let us know how you spent September 15th or 16th by commenting here or on our Facebook page or Twitter feed

We have one last thing to say: “Viva Mexico!”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>