El día 16 de septiembre se celebra el Día de la Independencia de México (On September 16, Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated). It’s a very festive time with lots going on. Hay desfiles, conciertos, fiestas y más (There are parades, concerts, parties, and more). I’ve been fortunate enough to celebrate Mexican Independence Day the past two years in Puerto Vallarta and I’m excited to share the experience with our readers!
In the lead-up to the holiday, you’ll see los colores de la bandera mexicana – verde, blanco, y rojo (the colors of the Mexican flag – green, white, and red) all over town.
Things really get going with El Día del Charro (Charro Day). “What is a charro?”, you may be asking yourself. A charro is a traditional Mexican horseman (or horsewoman these days). They take part in la charrería, which is actually the national sport of Mexico.
An accurate way to describe la charrería is a more stylized and artistic form of the American rodeo. A big part of the sport is the clothing, as participants wear traditional suits and dresses. On this special day in Puerto Vallarta, they walk from Zona Romantica up El Malecón with several different marching bands.
Of course, there’s lots of eating and drinking going on during the holiday as well. Perhaps the most emblematic dish for Independence Day is chiles en nogada. It’s a stuffed poblano chili topped with a walnut-cream sauce and pomegranate seeds, thus giving it the colors of the Mexican flag! If you want to practice your Spanish reading and Mexican cooking at the same time, try following this recipe to make it yourself.
At night on September 15th, a large crowd gathers in the Plaza de Armas (Main Square) in towns and cities all over Mexico. In Puerto Vallarta, el alcalde (the mayor) reads “El Grito de Dolores” (The Cry of Dolores – the famous call for independence given by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810. Everyone in the crowd joins in chanting “¡Viva México!” (Long live Mexico!).
After “El Grito,” there’s a huge fireworks display followed by some live mariachi music. The party goes late into the night with lots of singing and dancing. Of course, there are plenty of tacos and quite a bit of tequila as well. Good thing the next day is a national holiday, because this fiesta gets pretty wild!
To see just what the Día de la Independencia celebrations look like, check out this video highlight I put together. You’ll see the charro parade, El Grito, some mariachi, fireworks, and more:
Click here to check it out!
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