Fiestas Patrias: History, Traditions, and Celebrations

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September is Hispanic Heritage Month and with that comes parties, celebrations, and of course Fiestas Patrias events. September 16th commemorates Mexican Independence from Spain. Along with Mexico, a few other Latin American Countries also celebrate their Independence this month as well such as the Central America countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

The actual celebration of Mexico’s independence is celebrated on September 16th, but the party begins the night of September 15th at 11 p.m. According to an article by ibtimes.com, “the real Mexican Independence Day, or El Grito, is Friday, during which Mexicans from all over will come together to celebrate the day Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla – known as the father of Mexican independence – launched the revolution that led to Spain’s departure from Mexico.”


La Familia Cortez Restaurants

Photo: Facebook/La Familia Cortez Restaurants

Lovingly known to most as the “Grito de Dolores” or Cry of Dolores, the start of the celebration dates back to 1810.

Hidalgo gave the famous “Grito de Dolores” encouraging Mexicans to band together to end 300 years of Spain’s rule in Mexico. “Although they came close to defeating the Spaniards during a battle at Calderón in January 1811, Spain prevailed. It wasn’t until 1820 after Royalists took over in Spain when the new government vowed to vacate Mexico, freeing the county,” shared ibtimes.com.

“In 1821, Spanish Viceroy Juan de O’Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, granting Mexico its independence from Spain.” This marked the country’s Independence Day on September 16th.


Fiestas Patrias-Houston 2
Photo: Facebook/Houston Fiestas Patrias Parade

As history would have it, although the actual Independence Day is recognized on September 16th, Mexico begins the celebrations the evening before “when Mexico’s president ring’s the National Palace bell and re-enacts Hidalgo’s famous Grito de Dolores, which is ended with three shouts of ‘Viva Mexico!’ In honor of the day, Mexico City streets are decorated with flags, flowers, and lights matching the country’s flag colors,” shares ibtimes.com.

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