Mexico Independence Day
From: Saturday, September 15 2007, 4:00 am
to: Sunday, September 16 2007, 6:00 pm
For two days in September, Mexicans celebrate their independence from Spain with re-enactments, parades and parties. Thousands of people head for the Zócalo and the Plaza de la Independencia in the historic centre of Mexico City to relive their heritage.
The party starts on the evening of the 15 September with open-air celebrations in the Plaza de la Constitución, popularly known as the Zócalo. A main point of reference in the city, as well as a place of Aztec ritual, contemporary and past protests and national fiestas, the Zócalo reaches the pinnacle of its excitement during the independence celebrations.
As well as partying, people come to hear the Grito de Independencia (Cry of Independence). The President comes to the balcony of the Palacio Nacional, along one side of the square, and rings the ceremonial bell (Campana de Dolores). The crowd erupts into cheers, fireworks are let off, confetti is thrown and the real party begins.
The more formal part of the Independence Day celebrations takes place on 16 September with a military parade through the historic centre of the city.
Led by Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico spent 11 years fighting for its independence from the Spanish, finally achieving it in 1821.