Monday, September 13, 2010

Mexico Celebrates 200 Years of Independence

It’s the year of the bicentennial and an exciting time to be in Mexico!

In 2010 Mexico celebrates the 200th anniversary of its independence from Spain and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

Mexico has been preparing for the occasion for quite some time now, mapping out tourist routes throughout the interior of the country, improving infrastructure and roadways, hosting a variety of cultural events and exhibitions, renovating Plaza Garibaldi and constructing a new metro line in Mexico City.
With just under few days remaining until the Independence Day holiday, cities and towns across the country are preparing for extravagant celebrations and fiestas to honor the big day. Of course the Riviera Maya won’t be the exception.

Independence Day in Mexico is celebrated each year on September 16th, however many of the events to mark the occasion take place a day earlier on September 15th. This year there a variety of events planned including concerts, performances, aerial choreographies, parades and fireworks displays.

The highlight of the Independence Day celebrations – the delivery of “el grito” or cry of Independence by Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Mexico City - takes place on the evening of September 15th at 11:00pm. It’s the culminating moment of the festivities and recreates the moment when Father Hidalgo gathered his followers in Dolores Guanajuato marking the beginning of the Independence War back in 1810.

During the ceremony the crowds join in shouting the names of the heroes of Mexican Independence and ending with emotional cries of Viva Mexico! After the ceremony dramatic fireworks displays light up the sky.

Next day, in Mexico City, the bell placed atop the National Palace – said to be the original bell rung by Hidalgo – is rung and a military parade makes its way through the streets of the historic center.

The celebrations continue throughout the month of September, known across the country as the “Mes de la Patria” (Month of the Nation), and again in mid-November when Mexico celebrates the centennial of its Revolution on November 20th.

Happy 200th anniversary and ¡Viva Mexico!

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