September is a truly special month to visit Mexico; known as El Mes Patrio (the patriotic month) it is the time when Mexico shows its true colors – red, white and green! The reason for such patriotic fervor is due to the fact that September 15 and 16 is when Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain, which began in 1810 with the first uprisings in Dolores on September 16.
September 15 and 16 are celebrated as the start of independence because it was early in the morning on September 16, 1810 that Father Miguel Hidalgo is famed for ringing the bell of his church accompanied by Ignacio Allende and Doña Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez calling the inhabitants of the town of Dolores to rise up against the Spanish rulers. At that time, Spain had dominated Mexico for more than 300 years and this act of defiance is considered to be the start of the revolution. Led by Hidalgo, the people of the town were reported to have shouted: “¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe! ¡Abajo el mal gobierno! ¡Viva Fernando VII!” (Live the Virgin of Guadalupe! Down with the bad government! Live Fernando VII!)
These calls to action are reenacted every year across Mexico. Mayors and town officials take to the town plazas to perform El Grito (the Shout) in front of huge crowds where they call out the names of the heroes of the revolution ending with “Viva Mexico!” This year in Mexico City, as happens each year, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will do the same in the Zocalo in front of thousands, which will be recorded and transmitted on national television. He will toll the original bell rang by Hidalgo more than 200 years before, calling Mexico to remember its heroes. Afterward, a huge firework display ensued and the festivities really got underway.