Thursday, September 15, 2011

Viva Mexico! Mexican Independence Day September 16th

The sizzling hot food from the street vendors, washed down with glasses of fresh fruit juice, or icy cold beer, kids running free in the town square, music and laughter, flags and banners, red white and green bunting draped on buildings, and soon, the big finale featuring fireworks.  A great way to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.

Flotilla taking the Virgin to Isla Contoy
The week started quietly with the annual Virgin of Charity of Cobre's Procession on Saturday September 10th.  The event began at eight in the morning with the blessing of the statue of the Virgin Mary at the church in the town square.  The beautiful sounds of the parishioners praying ricocheted off the buildings as the crowd followed the procession of priest and docents, from the church onto a flotilla of boats.  The flotilla then headed out to Isla Contoy where the Virgin of Charity will reside for six months in a small chapel to protect the fishermen for the winter fishing season.  There were many small panga-style fishing boats in the flotilla plus an UltraMar water taxi, two large tour boats, a Coast Guard cruiser, and a Navy vessel - all overflowing with the families and friends of the fishermen.
Grandmothers' Association in Parade
Late on Thursday evening, September 15th was the local re-enactment of the day of Grito de Delores.  The Grito de Dolores ("Cry of Dolores") was the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence, uttered by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest from the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato.  

Just before midnight on September 15 th 1810, Hidalgo ordered the church bells to be rung and he gathered his congregation.  Hidalgo is believed to have cried: "Long live Our Lady of Guadalupe, death to bad government, and death to the Spaniards!"   Mexico's independence wasn’t officially recognized by the Spanish crown until September 27, 1821 - after the officials had completely tired of the ongoing war.

Independence Day Parade
Some of other entertaining Independence Day activities included the Viva Mexico buffet dinner at Chuuk Kay Restaurante from six until ten in the evening on Thursday September 15th. 

And there is traditionally a great parade, usually along Medina Avenue in the Centro, on September 16th around nine in the morning. 

More or less. (Más o menos.) The parade will start soon, in five minutes.  It's Mexico - good things happen but at a slower pace. 
Independence Day Parade

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