Mexican Independence Day is a holiday observed on September 16th that celebrates the “cry of independence,” which started the Mexican revolt against Spanish colonialism. September 16th is a national public holiday in Mexico, so banks, schools, government offices, and many businesses are closed in observance of the day.
The “cry of independence” is more commonly known as the Cry of Dolores, or Grito de Dolores in Spanish. A priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla hosted secret gatherings in his home to discuss whether it was better to obey or to revolt against a tyrannical government, as he defined the Spanish colonial government in Mexico. Hidalgo was in the small town of Dolores on September 15th, 1810, with other rebel leaders when they learned their conspiracy had been discovered. Hidalgo ran to the church, calling for all the people to gather, and from the pulpit called upon them to revolt. The people of Dolores – a poor and small group – all shouted in agreement. On the morning of September 16th, 1810, Hidalgo called upon the remaining locals to join him. Most did, and Hidalgo had a mob of around 600 men within minutes. The Cry of Dolores is what sparked the revolution, and is why September 16th is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day despite Mexico not gaining its independence for another 11 years. Although things didn’t end well for Hidalgo (he was captured, tried, and executed by the Spanish army ten months after his rebellion), he is remembered today as the “father of his country” and a great hero in the war for Mexican Independence.
Mexicans typically celebrate their Independence Day with fireworks, parties, food, music, and dancing. Flags, flowers, and decorations in red, white and green – the colors of the Mexican flag – are displayed all over cities and towns in Mexico. Whistles and horns are blown and confetti is thrown to celebrate this festive occasion. "Viva Mexico" or "Viva la independencia” are shouted amidst the crowds on this day, words believed to be declared by Hidalgo during his Grito de Dolores.
We invite residents of South Sioux City and visiting guests to join us for the Siouxland Multicultural Celebration of Independence! This event will take place September 17th and 18th and will be a celebration with traditional food, friendly soccer games, and Independence Proclamation by the Mexican Consul. For more information on the Multicultural Celebration of Independence, please visit our website: