Last year, I posted this History Tidbit:
– September 15-16, 1810: The Cry for Independence
This weekend, Mexicans will be commemorating the onset of the Mexican Independence War. Right at midnight, on the night of September 15, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest in the town of Dolores, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, rang the bell of his parish and called people to fight against the vice-regal European government. The insurgents began the war still supporting their Spanish king, who had been deposed by Napoleon back in Europe; over the course of the following eleven years, and after the death of many (including Hidalgo), the basic principle of fighting against a grubby and oppressive government remained, but it ultimately resulted in the birth of Mexico as an independent nation. This pivotal point in Mexico’s history is commemorated in many places around the country by re-enacting the dramatic call, named “El grito de Dolores” or “El grito de Independencia” (“The Cry for Independence”). The town of Dolores was renamed Dolores Hidalgo, and the bell from its parish was brought to the National Palace in Mexico City, situated right in front of the main square (Zócalo). There, the president himself comes out to one of the balconies to re-enact “El grito”, finishing with the cry of “¡Viva México!”; the Bell of Dolores rings once again, resonating around the Plaza de la Constitución (“Constitution Square”), official name of the main square, completely filled with people gathered to participate in the ceremony. The celebration continues with activities to tease all the senses: music, light displays, fireworks, and of course, lots of food.
Since Mexico’s current president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), took office on December 1st, 2018, this year will be his first time leading the re-enactment; it will be interesting to see how the ceremony goes since, as many other things in his government so far, he has promised that this year, the celebration and parade the next day “will be different.” He has remarked in many occasions that he is seeking a radical change from the trail of corruption and impunity that previous presidents and their cabinets have left behind; notably one of his first actions as president was to sell the presidential plane, and reduce his personal guard, travelling in commercial flights and declaring that “the people will take care of me.” His recent State of the Nation address was an optimistic message in which he reiterated that he is on the right track, keeping aloof from statistics showing that crime (in particular murders) has risen in this past year, and the economic growth was slow; when asked by reporters later on, AMLO admitted that there is more time needed to change things around, notifying the press that he has “inherited those problems from former administrations,” and that he is focusing on “not quantity [net growth], but a fair distribution of income and resources.” A written report is submitted by law to Congress. Another quirky detail is that he called this his “third” report, because he delivered messages to the nation in March, at the 100-day mark of his term, and on July 1st, on the anniversary of his electoral victory.
I am sure that, no matter how the Cry for Independence re-enactment is delivered, celebrations will follow and still be lively, and enjoying great food all around will not be a happenstance. These are my suggestions for a national-colours theme this year (click on images for recipes and stories):
And from last year, also featuring green, white and red colours (click on images for recipes and stories):
These menus include spicy and mild dishes, and beverages, but no dessert, so I will share my recipe for Mexican Flan in my next post. Other nice options are my Raspberry Pie, and Agujita Style Capirotada (click on highlighted text for recipes and stories.)
Photo at the top of the post (from my recent trip to Mexico City): Victory Column, Monument to Mexico’s Independence, known also as “The Angel of Independence” or “El ángel”.
“El Ángel was built in 1910 during the [last] presidency of Porfirio Díaz by architect Antonio Rivas Mercado, to commemorate the centennial of the beginning of Mexico’s War of Independence .” quoted from Wikipedia