Municipal president giving the "grito" of "Viva Mexico" at the commencement of Independence Day festivities in Mexico at 11 PM, 15 Sept 2008. Photo by Thelmadatter (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.
On 16 September 1810 in Dolores, Mexico, the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla gave a speech known as El Grito de Dolores. He called for the end of 300 years of Spanish rule, redistribution of land, and racial equality. Since October 1825, Mexico's independence has been celebrated on September 16.
At around 11:00 PM on September 15, the president of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City, shouts a "grito" based on El Grito de Dolores, and waves the Mexican flag. A military parade is held on September 16. Parties are held and flags are displayed. In September, schoolchildren often paint pictures and perform plays based on El Grito de Dolores and Mexican independence.
The wife of one of my cousins is from Mexico, and my maternal grandmother's brother Carl Schneider lived in Mexico at the end of his life.
Church and statue of Hidalgo. March 2004. Photo by Paigemorrison [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5), GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.
El Grito de Dolores
Grito de Dolores
Mexican War of Independence begins
Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
Teach September 16! El Grito de Dolores, Mexican independence, and the Zapatistas