¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! Long live Mexico!
|Grito of Delores!|
At eleven at night, on September 15th Presidente Agapito Magaña Sanchez tugged on a thick ribbon-bedecked rope, ringing a large brass bell and shouting the traditional cry of independence. The huge crowd shouted back: ¡Viva! ¡Viva! ¡Viva! The energy in the air send frissons of excitement through our blood, tingling our nerve endings: Wow!
|Overhead fireworks in centro|
And then the fireworks started – blasting from two different directions above the crowd gathered in the city square. Whistling shrieks, then a series of booms, followed by a slight pause and the atmosphere exploded into constellations of red, green, blue, and yellow, the billowing phosphorescent smoke slowly dissipating over the city.
We, along with family members Richard and Linda Grierson, had been enjoying a late night dinner just up the street from centro at Pita Amore Restaurante, before heading to the celebrations. We fully expected everything to be running behind schedule, as is the norm, but discovered that was not the case. The event was clicking along, right on schedule.
When we arrived in centro a number of dancers were on stage. The women were dressed in huipils – the beautiful lacy tunics created from fine white cloth, colourful ribbons, and intricate embroidery.
They had fanciful flower headdresses woven into their beautiful dark hair, topped by traditional white straw hats. Their escorts were attired entirely in white as a counterpoint to their colourful female partners.
The men in another dance troupe wore a stylized cowboy outfit while the ladies were decked out in red and blue multi-layered fiesta dresses that could be swirled high in the air when dancing.
The music, the smiles, and the colour – an amazing sight.
We missed the very beginning of program but were able to enjoy the dancers for an hour before the cry of independence: the Grito de Delores. The original Cry of Deloreswas shouted in the early morning hours of September 16th1810 by a Roman Catholic priest, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, in the small town of Delores near Guanajuato. His proclamation marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, demanding independence from the Spanish colonial government.
And no, Cinco de Mayo is not Independence Day in Mexico.
That date commemorates a battle between the Mexican army and the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th1862. The Cinco de Mayo is more popular in the USA – especially since the advent of beer commercials promoting the celebration!
As the fireworks ended the ten-person band began to play fun traditional music signaling the start of the all-night festivities. The four of us looked at each other and laughed: yep, it was past our bedtime. We aren’t conditioned for the all-night parties.
Walking back to our vehicle, Lawrie picked up a couple of large pieces of tough black plastic – smoking hot pieces of plastic that had fallen out of the sky during the fireworks display.
The shower of hot debris had sent a number of people scurrying for shelter. It’s normal. Fireworks displays are always an adventure in Mexico.
Love this country!
Feliz Dia De La Independencia!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva Isla Mujeres!
Lynda & Lawrie
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