For some strange reason, the United States celebrates 5 de Mayo in a big way, the truth of the matter is that the mexican fiesta that should truly be celebrated is September 16, which is when Mexico celebrates the anniversary of it's independence.
It was during the early hours in the morning on September 16 1810 when the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, made a rallying cry to the people and started the war for Independence, which would seek to free Mexico from Spain. At the beginning, the battle was so that Spaniards born in Mexico, back then known as “criollos”, would have more rights, but 11 years of battles led the nation to become independent. Besides Hidalgo, in the history of the Independence there were other historic figures such as Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez, Jose Maria Morelos y Pavón, Vicente Guerrero and Agustin de Iturbide. The fight for the nation's independence officially ended on September 27th 1821.
After Mexico established it's own government, there was another war a 100 years later, it was a revolution to improve the quality of life for all Mexicans, seeking to give more power to the people and promote ideals like hard work, effort and most of all, a better government, this was the Mexican Revolution which started on November 20th 1910.
It is because of these reasons that to this day, every year on September 16, Mexico celebrates the heroes which made Mexico an Independent nation. The entire country joins in a grand celebration that lasts over 2 weeks, and rallies in each city's main plaza, which is decorated with green, white and red, the images of the national heroes, and the mayors, governors and even the President, all re-enact the Rallying War Cry which started it all, they wave the Mexican flag, and ring the bell just like Miguel Hidalgo did to unite the people.
Most of the media covers the ceremony led by the President from the capital of Mexico and citizens join the festivities to celebrate. With typical Mexican dishes, traditional dances and historic folklore, the national holidays begin to take place on September 15th, with the rallying cry given at midnight. A day after on the 16th there are parades and since it is a holiday most establishments do not operate, mexicans take a break from school and work.
Video: Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto giving the Rallying Cry
This year however, was another year in which citizens manifested their discontent with the current situation in Mexico, economic issues, poor Education system, corruption, poverty, among so many other problems, which in their opinion, are things that do not deserve to be celebrated, and through social media and personal conversations, they express how pointless it is to celebrate independence in a country where it seems like there is none at all, and that the current government is far from representing the ideals for which the heroes of this nation fought for.
Though the country is divided between those who celebrated these events and those who boycotted them, there are still those who work everyday and have faith that they can count on a better future for this country.
Did you celebrate this holiday?