Mexican Independence Day: History, Quotes, How to Celebrate

Mexican Independence Day, also known as El Grito, takes place on September 16, 2019, and is an annual celebration of the start of Mexico's War for Independence.

Newsweek takes a look at the history behind the day, famous quotes and where the best places are to party.

The History of Mexican Independence Day

According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, following the invasion of Spain by Napoleon I in 1808, many Mexicans formed secret societies to either to support King Ferdinand VII or for Mexico's independence from Spain. A catholic priest called Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (Hidalgo) was one of the supporters for independence in San Miguel (now San Miguel de Allende), near Dolores. Following the reveal of a plot and the arrest of several members of a pro-independence group, Hidalgo was warned to flee.

It was then on September 16, 1810, Hidalgo rang the church bell in Dolores to call his parishioners to revolt against the Spanish and for racial equality and redistribution of the land. This is known as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores).

Hidalgo's act cemented him as the father of Mexican independence as well as his capture of the city of Guanajuato and other major cities west of Mexico City. However, he failed to capture the capital and his followers dispersed, resulting in the priest fleeing north of the country. His attempt failed and he was caught, expelled from the priesthood, and executed by firing squad as a rebel.

Today, Hidalgo is celebrated as a martyr to the cause of Mexico's independence from Spain and the Grito de Dolores is celebrated as Mexico's Independence Day.

Mexican Independence Day 2019
Stock image: Mexican Independence Day is celebrated with food, drink, music, and dance. iStock

Famous Quotes about Mexican Independence Day

  1. "Siendo contra los clamores de la naturaleza vender a los hombres, quedan abolidas las leyes" – Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (English: "Being against the cries of nature to sell to men, the laws are abolished.")
  2. "La lengua guarda al pescuezo" – Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (English: "The tongue holds the neck.")
  3. "El indulto es para los criminales, no para los defensores de la patria" – Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (English: "Pardon is for the criminals, not for the defenders of the homeland.")
  4. "¡Viva la independencia! ¡Viva la América! ¡Muera el mal gobierno!" – Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla (English: "Live the independence! Long live America! Bad government died!")
  5. "Sin importar el tamaño de la ciudad o pueblo en donde nacen los hombres o las mujeres, ellos son finalmente el tamaño de su obra, del tamaño de su voluntad de engrandecer y enriquecer a sus hermanos" – Ignacio Allende, a captain of the Spanish Army in Mexico who came to sympathize with the Mexican independence movement (English: "Regardless of the size of the city or town where men or women are born, they are finally the size of their work, the size of their will to enlarge and enrich their brothers.")
  6. "Cuando el pueblo salta sus barreras, casi ningún esfuerzo es bastante poderoso para detenerlo" – Guadalupe Victoria, the first president of the Mexican Republic (English: "When the people jump their barriers, almost no effort is powerful enough to stop it.")
  7. "Tantos soldados para custodiar una pobre mujer, pero yo con mi sangre les formare un patrimonio a mis hijos" – Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, insurgent and supporter of the Mexican War of Independence (English: "So many soldiers to guard a poor woman, but with my blood I will form a heritage for my children.")
  8. "¡Que se eduque a los hijos del labrador y del barrendero como a los del más rico hacendado!" – José María Morelos y Pavón, Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel leader (English: "Let the children of the farmer and the sweeper be educated as those of the richest landowner!")
  9. "Soy siervo de la nación porque esta asume la más grande legitima e inviolable de las soberanías" – José María Morelos y Pavón (English: "I am a servant of the nation because it assumes the greatest legitimacy and inviolable sovereignty")
  10. "La soberanía dimana inmediatamente del pueblo" – José María Morelos y Pavón (English: "Sovereignty comes immediately from the people")
  11. "Morir es nada cuando por la patria se muere" – José María Morelos y Pavón (English: "Dying is nothing when the country dies")

How to celebrate Mexican Independence Day

Las Vegas is pulling out all the stops for Mexican Independence Day, with Latino acts taking to the city's venues to perform.

September 13 & 14, 2019Bruno MarsPark Theater
September 13, 2019Banda MSZappos Theater, Planet Hollywood
September 13, 2019Daddy YankeeThe Chelsea, The Cosmopolitan
September 13, 2019Marco Antonio SolisMandalay Bay Events Center
September 13, 2019Luis Miguel - Tour 2019The Colosseum, Caesars Palace
September 13, 2019Café TacvbaMandalay Bay Beach
September 13, 2019Eric ClaptonT-Mobile Arena
September 13, 2019Gabriel IglesiasTerry Fator Theatre, Mirage
September 13, 2019Concierto Del AmorHouse of Blues at Mandalay Bay
September 14, 2019Enrique IglesiasThe Colosseum, Caesars Palace
September 14, 2019Pancho BarrazaThe Chelsea, The Cosmopolitan
September 14, 2019Larry HernandezStar Of The Desert Arena
September 14, 2019MANÁ: Rayando El Sol TourMGM Grand Garden Arena
September 14, 2019Maluma - 11:11 World TourMandalay Bay Events Center
September 14, 2019Gloria Trevi: Diosa De La NocheZappos Theater, Planet Hollywood
September 14, 2019REIK Tour 2019Pearl Theater, Palms
September 15, 2019Alejandro FernándezMandalay Bay Events Center
September 15, 2019Alejandra GuzmánMandalay Bay Beach
September 15, 2019Marc AnthonyZappos Theater, Planet Hollywood

Houston, Texas, also has a selection of events for Mexican Independence Day called Fiestas Patrias 2019.

The events include:

  • México en el Corazón at Discovery Green, September 13, 2019: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Amenecer Co. Coffee Pop-Up: El Grito at Tierra de los Artesanos: The Fair Market, September 14, 2019: 9 a.m. to noon.
  • Houston Fiestas Patrias Parade in Downtown, September 14, 2019: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Fiestas Patrias 2019 with Telemundo Houston at Traders Village Houston, September 15, 2019: Noon to 4 p.m.
  • Viva La Cultura Festival at Karbach Brewing Co., September 15, 2019: Noon to 9 p.m.
  • Houston Symphony: Fiesta Sinfónica at Jones Hall, September 15, 2019: Starts at 6 p.m.
  • El Grito at Miller Outdoor Theatre, September 15, 2019: Starts at 7:30 p.m.
Mexican Independence Day: History, Quotes, How to Celebrate | U.S.