Mexican Independence Day (2023)

When is Mexican Independence Day 2023?

Get festive and celebrate Mexican heritage on Mexican Independence Day on September 16.

History of Mexican Independence Day

Mexico, once known as New Spain, was a colony harshly ruled by the kingdom of Spain for over 300 years. The native population was oppressed, farmland and personal wealth were confiscated and only Spaniards were allowed to hold political posts. The oppression became too much and a Catholic priest in the town of Dolores named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla had enough.

On September 16, 1810, he rang his church’s bell and delivered a speech now known as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores), demanding the end of Spanish rule. This started the brutal Mexican War of Independence, which lasted over a decade. On August 24, 1821, Spain withdrew and officially recognized Mexico as an independent country. Today, Father Hidalgo is known as the Father of Mexican Independence. Mexican Independence Day has been celebrated every year since that momentous day on September 16, 1810. To promote education among Hispanic students many organizations and companies have established scholarships for Hispanic students, as another way of supporting Mexican independence.

Mexican Independence Day has developed into a huge nationwide celebration over the past 200-plus years. The country’s leaders were inspired by our own July 4 Independence Day festivities, so fireworks fill the skies at night and the day is filled with patriotic speeches, flag-waving, parades, live music, and home-cooked feasts. Red, white and green — the colors of the Mexican flag — are seen everywhere across Mexico and even cities in the U.S. with large Mexican populations.

One of the most popular events connected to Mexican Independence Day is when the President of Mexico rings the 200-year-old bell Father Hidalgo used in 1810 and recites the Grito de Dolores speech in front of 500,000 people. This event is broadcast live to millions via Mexican TV and radio on the evening of September 15.

Many people outside of Mexico think that Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo are the same things. Cinco de Mayo celebrates another victory when the outnumbered Mexican army defeated the powerful French militia in 1862 during the Battle of Puebla.

Mexican Independence Day timeline

April 21, 1519

300 Years of Spanish Rule

Spanish commander Hernán Cortés and his soldiers anchor off the Mexican coast, and the conquest and destruction of the mighty Aztec Empire begins.

September 16, 1810

El Grito de Dolores (The Cry of Dolores)

Father Hidalgo delivers his legendary speech, spurring the population to revolt against Spanish rule.

(Video) Massive Mexico Independence Day Celebrations

July 1811

Father Hidalgo is Executed by Spanish Forces.

His army, made up of loyal revolutionaries, continued to fight in his honor.

August 24, 1821

Mexico is Declared an Independent Country

Spain signs The Treaty of Cordoba, ending the War of Independence, declaring Mexico a free country.

Mexican Independence Day Around the World
FranceBastille DayOccasion: Commemorating the day that the French troops stormed and destroyed the Bastille, marking the beginning of the French Revolution.July 14
PhilippinesIndependence DayCelebrating the Philippine Revolution against Spain.June 12
PeruFiestas PatriasCommemorating Peru’s independence from Spain.July 28
IsraelYom Ha’atzmautCommemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence and their independence from the British Mandate for Palestine.Differs depending on the day on which the 5th of Iyar falls.

Traditions of the Day

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated with festive fireworks, fiestas or parties, and lots of good food and music. The colors for the day are of the Mexican flag — red, white, and green — which are seen everywhere in public areas along with flowers and other decorations. Mexicans jubilantly blow whistles and horns and throw confetti, and crowds chant “Viva la independencia nacional!” and “Viva Mexico!” in the streets.

Traditional mariachi music spices up the events with lively dancing. Of course, food is one of the most important aspects of Independence Day celebrations — restaurants and street vendors sell traditional Mexican food. Others prepare feasts at home to serve at parties. This includes fruit punch, candies like marzipan, ‘pozole’ — a soup made from hominy and pork, beef stew known as ‘Menudo,’ roast lamb, ‘Queso Fundido’ — a Mexican cheese fondue, and chips with guacamole and salsa. Popular beverages for parties are Mexican beer, sangria, or tequila.

(Video) Mexican Independence Day celebrations underway in Chicago

By The Numbers

127.6 million – the population of Mexico.

$1.269 trillion – the gross domestic product of Mexico.

50 – the number of indigenous languages spoken in Mexico.

13th – the ranking of Mexico as the largest country in terms of land.

52 – the international dialing code for Mexico.

Mexican Independence Day FAQs

Can you watch the President of Mexico reenact the The Cry of Dolores in person?

Yes. If you travel to Mexico City and go to the National Palace on September 15 around 11 p.m., you can be among the 500,000 people watching the President ring the bell of Hidalgo and recite The Cry of Dolores in person.

Why is Mexican Independence Day not as popular a holiday as Cinco de Mayo is in the U.S.?

Some experts in international relations think that Cinco de Mayo is more popular in the USA because it celebrates Mexican culture overall and does not celebrate the start of a war in another country, which Mexican Independence Day does.

What is the Cinco de Mayo?

The Cinco de Mayo is a celebration commemorating the victory of the Mexicans over the French at the Battle of Puebla.

Where exactly is the town of Dolores in Mexico?

Dolores, the charming colonial town where Father Hidalgo gave his famous Cry of Dolores speech, is located in central Mexico. The church where Hidalgo gave his famous speech still stands and there is a museum dedicated to his life in town as well as affordable hotels in the area.

(Video) History of the Holidays: Sep 16th, Mexican Independence Day

Is Mexico a third world country?

Although technically recognized as a 3rd world country, Mexico has a thriving economy, an incredibly developed infrastructure, and low infant mortality rates compared with most other counties of the world.

How to Observe Mexican Independence Day

  1. Grab a table at your local Mexican restaurant

    You don’t have to be Mexican to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Enjoy the festivities while you enjoy a hearty, flavorful meal and an ice cold cerveza.

  2. Fly the Mexican flag

    No matter where you live, celebrate Mexico’s independence by displaying the country’s distinctive green, white, and red flag. The vertical stripes represent — in order — independence, Roman Catholicism, and unity.

  3. Watch or listen to the live broadcast of El Grito de Dolores reenactment

    Settle down in front of your TV or radio when the President of Mexico delivers El Grito de Dolores, complete with bell ringing, at 11 p.m. on September 15. Then let the party begin!

5 Cool Facts About Mexican Independence Day

  1. Eat the colors of the Mexican flag

    Chiles En Nogada (poblano chiles stuffed with savory meat) features the three colors of the Mexican flag: green (fresh parsley), white (walnut cream sauce), and red (pomegranate seeds).

  2. A Mexican household favorite

    Beans are a staple of Mexican cooking, so buy some fresh pinto or black beans and whip up a hearty Mexican meal of Frijoles de la Olla (beans in a pot), which is basically a pot of simmered beans mixed with onion and garlic and topped with fresh sour cream.

  3. Wash it down

    Skip commonplace beverages like beer and margaritas and offer something different, like a traditional Mexican ponche (fruit punch) made from sugarcane, oranges, pears, guavas, raisins, and apples seasoned with cinnamon and clove.

  4. Que es Queso?

    Queso is the Spanish word for cheese, and the only thing cheesier than an overdramatic Mexican telenovela is Queso Fundido, a traditional Mexican fondue of melted white cheese simmered with lime juice, hot sauce and garlic.

  5. Hangover Cure

    Menudo, a rich, hearty stew made from stew beef, hominy (corn kernels), tripe (cow stomach lining) that’s cooked with onion, garlic, lime, and cilantro, is considered to be a traditional hangover cure for those who imbibe a few too many cervezas on September 16.

    (Video) Mexican Independence Day Edit

Why Mexican Independence Day is Important

  1. It celebrates freedom

    Just like July 4 in America or Bastille Day in France, Mexican Independence Day celebrates freedom. And we think there is nothing sweeter than freedom, unless you count Mazapán, a sweet peanut flavored Mexican candy.

  2. It's a two day fiesta

    Even though the official day of celebration is September 16, when banks, schools, and businesses are closed, many folks start gearing up on September 15, climaxing with the President’s reading of El Grito de Dolores live on TV at 11p.m.

  3. It’s a day for Mexican cuisine

    It’s probably one of the best days of the year to sample Mexican food! There will be an excess supply of it so get your taste buds ready for the feast.

Mexican Independence Day dates

2023September 16Saturday
2024September 16Monday
2025September 16Tuesday
2026September 16Wednesday
2027September 16Thursday

Mexican Independence Day related holidays

FriMay 5Featured Cinco de Mayo
FriSep 15Featured Shout of Dolores
ThuNov 2Featured Day of the Dead

See More

Get Social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#MexicanIndependenceDay #MexicanIndependenceCelebrations #MexicanIndependenceDance #MexicanIndependenceDayParade #Mexicans #MexicanIndependence #MexicanFood

(Video) My high school hired a banda to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.. #shorts #comedy

Mexican Independence Day Featured Video

Mexican Independence Day 2018


Mexican Independence Day? ›

Mexican Independence Day has been celebrated every year since that momentous day on September 16, 1810. To promote education among Hispanic students many organizations and companies have established scholarships for Hispanic students, as another way of supporting Mexican independence.

What is Mexico's true Independence Day? ›

On August 24, 1821, Spain withdrew and officially recognized Mexico as an independent country. Today, Father Hidalgo is known as the Father of Mexican Independence. Mexican Independence Day has been celebrated every year since that momentous day on September 16, 1810.

Why is September 16th Mexican Independence Day? ›

September 16 marks an eventful day in the history of Mexico. It was on this day in 1810 that Miguel Hidalgo declared Independence from Spain, which is celebrated even today.

What happened September 16th 1810? ›

Cry of Dolores. Early on the morning of September 16, 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla summoned the largely Indian and mestizo congregation of his small Dolores parish church and urged them to take up arms and fight for Mexico's independence from Spain.

When did Mexico gain independence 1810 or 1821? ›

On 24 August 1821, representatives of the Spanish crown, including the new viceroy Juan O'Donojú and Iturbide signed the Treaty of Córdoba, which recognized Mexican independence under the Plan of Iguala.

Is Mexican Independence Day true or false? ›

Cinco de Mayo History

Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, a popular misconception. Instead, it commemorates a single battle. In 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the Indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico.

Does Mexico have two Independence Day? ›

Mexican Independence is celebrated on the 15 and 16 of September in Mexico, not on the fifth of May, or Cinco de Mayo. This is the date that commemorates Miguel Hidalgo's Grito de Dolores, or cry for independence, in 1810, beginning what would be an 11 year battle against Spanish forces.

What is Mexico's cry for independence called? ›

The Grito de Dolores ("Cry of/from Dolores") was the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence, uttered on September 16, 1810, by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest from the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, Mexico.

What do you say on Mexican Independence Day? ›

He shouts "¡Viva Mexico!" and "¡Viva la independencia!" and the crowd roars the words back at him. Fiestas celebrating independence take place that night and the next day-throughout Mexico.

What do Mexicans do on September 16? ›

Mexican Independence Day is often referred to as “El Grito” or “El Grito de Independencia,” a tribute to the battle cry that launched a rebellion in 1810. Like America's 4th of July, the celebration of freedom is a giant fiesta with colorful parades, parties and family gatherings featuring food and fireworks.

When did Spain lose Mexico? ›

When Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, it included most of the viceroyalty of New Spain, minus the Caribbean and the Philippines.

How did Spain lose Mexico? ›

Iturbide defeated the Royalist forces still opposed to independence, and the new Spanish viceroy, lacking money, provisions, and troops, was forced to accept Mexican independence. On August 24, 1821, O'Donojú signed the Treaty of Córdoba, thus ending New Spain's dependence on Old Spain.

How long did Spain rule Mexico? ›

After the fall of the Aztec Empire, Spain called their new lands the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and ruled over Mexico for the next three hundred years.

Who freed Mexico from Spain? ›

In September of 1810, Miguel Hidalgo, the parish priest of the small town of Dolores in central Mexico, uttered the country's cry for independence. He called not only for liberation from Spain, but also for the end of slavery and the return of lands to the Indigenous inhabitants.

What country owned Mexico until 1821? ›

Independence of Mexico. Although the Spanish crown initially rejected O'Donojú's recognition of Mexican independence, the date now recognized as that of separation from Old Spain is in fact August 24, 1821.

How old is Mexico as a country? ›

From the stone cities of the Maya to the might of the Aztecs, from its conquest by Spain to its rise as a modern nation, Mexico boasts a rich history and cultural heritage spanning more than 10,000 years.

What is the difference between 4th of July and Mexican Independence Day? ›

While Mexico won a battle that day, it did not win its independence. That wouldn't happen until September 16th, 1810, which is the nation's actual birthday. But unlike the U.S., which celebrates Independence Day exclusively on July 4th, Mexico takes two days to celebrate — because that's just how it rolls.

Why don't Mexico celebrate Cinco de Mayo? ›

Today, Cinco de Mayo is not that important in Mexico. They mainly celebrate it in the state of Puebla. In Mexico, they honor Independence Day on September 16, which is the nation's most important national holiday. In the United States, though, Cinco de Mayo has become a way to honor Mexican culture and heritage.

What is Mexico's real name? ›

The official legal name of the country is 'United Mexican States'.

Why is Cinco de Mayo not celebrated in Mexico? ›

But it isn't as widely celebrated in Mexico because the holiday in America celebrates the larger Mexican American culture. A misconception is that Cinco de Mayo honors Mexico's independence, according to Amilcar Challu, an associate professor of history at Bowling Green State University.

When did Mexico gain independence? ›

How many people died in Mexico's independence? ›

After gaining independence in 1821, the country was left in a poor state. Agricultural, mining and industrial production had fallen during the war, and over half a million Mexicans had died.

What happens in Mexico every year on Mexican Independence Day? ›

Like every year, the President of Mexico stands on the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico city and waves the flag after giving a speech similar to what Miguel Hidalgo did 200 years ago.

Who did Mexico want independence from? ›

Mexico's Independence Day marks the beginning of a decade-long revolution. Commonly confused with Cinco de Mayo in the U.S., this holiday celebrates the moment when Father Hidalgo called for Mexico's independence from Spain in September 1810.

What do Mexicans do on Independence Day? ›

Apart from the Grito de Dolores reenactments, Mexicans commemorate Mexican Independence Day in a variety of ways. Flags festoon buildings and there are fireworks, fiestas, music, and of course, delicious Mexican food. People host parties at home while restaurants and street vendors bring ambiance to neighborhoods.

Why did Mexico struggle for independence? ›

The Revolutions in France and the United States inspired the people of New Spain to push back against Spanish authoritarianism. A major prime mover towards this was the Napoleonic occupation of mainland Spain in the 19th century, triggering tensions and miscommunication between Spain, and New Spain (Mexico).

How do you say Happy Mexican independence? ›

How to Say 'Happy Mexican Independence Day' in Spanish. In the speech delivered by Hidalgo on September 16, he shouted, "Viva Mexico!" and "Viva la independencia!" To wish people a "Happy Mexican Independence Day," simply repeat his words: "Viva Mexico!" and "Viva la independencia!"

Why do Mexicans say Viva Mexico? ›

Viva México, of course, essentially means “long live Mexico.” It's an expression of solidarity and support for the nation frequently shared among countrymen. But güey, pronounced and sometimes spelled wey, is a slang term used to refer to people without using their name.

Why is September 15 important to Mexicans? ›

“The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively.

What is the most famous sport in Mexico? ›

Mexico's most popular team sport is association football. Football is widely followed and practiced all over the country and it is considered the most popular sport in most states. It is believed that football was introduced in Mexico by English Cornish miners at the end of the 19th century.

How is Mexican Independence Day different from the United States? ›

While it may seem similar, Mexico's fight for independence was different than the United States' Revolutionary War. Mexican Independence Day coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month. Mexican Independence Day often gets overshadowed or confused with Cinco de Mayo, but they're not the same thing.

Who owned California before Mexico? ›

First Spanish colonies

Spain had maintained a number of missions and presidios in New Spain since 1519. The Crown laid claim to the north coastal provinces of California in 1542.

What nationalities make up Mexicans? ›

The majority of Mexicans have varying degrees of Spanish and Native Mesoamerican ancestry and have been classified as "Mestizos".

Who was in Mexico before the Spanish? ›

Pre-Hispanic Mexico

Prior to the time when the Spaniards first set foot on Mexican soil, this land was home to many of the world's great civilizations such as the Aztecs, the Mayas, the Toltecs, the Mixtecs, the Zapotecs and the Olmecs.

Did Spain try to get Mexico back? ›

The Spanish attempts to reconquer Mexico were an effort by the Spanish government to regain possession of its former colony of New Spain, resulting in episodes of war comprised in clashes between the newly born Mexican nation and Spain.

Why did Spain want Mexico? ›

Spain's purposes to colonize Mexico and the other colonies were getting new land, resources, and to spread Christianity. As they conquered Mexico, they got new land. Spain plundered lots of resources from their colonies, opened up trade and get profits and spread Christianity.

What percentage of Mexico is of Spanish descent? ›

Most of their ancestors arrived during the colonial period but further hundreds of thousands have since then immigrated, especially during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. The Encyclopædia Britannica states those of predominantly European descent make up closer to one-sixth (≈17%) of the Mexican population.

Who lived in Mexico first? ›

The Olmecs, Mexico's first known society, settled on the Gulf Coast near what is now Veracruz.

Who colonized Mexico first? ›

First Encounters: The Conquest and Colonization of Mexico

Hernán Cortés and a small group of Spanish soldiers conquered Mexico in 1521, just two years after they landed near the modern-day city of Veracruz.

What language did Mexico speak before Spanish? ›

Nahuatl was the lingua franca of the Aztecs, who ruled Mexico between the 14th and 16th centuries before they were conquered by the Spaniards.

What was the first black city in Mexico? ›

The City of Yanga was founded after a group of enslaved Africans, led by Gaspar Yanga, rebelled against colonial rule.

Did Spain ever occupy Mexico? ›

They bravely laid siege to Tenochtitlán for months and finally captured it on Aug. 13, 1521, with the Spanish taking their rightful place as leaders of the land we now know as Mexico. Conquest accomplished.

Why did Mexico want to be separated from Spain? ›

By the 19th century many Mexicans wanted to separate from Spain and create a sovereign government that would act on behalf of their own interests much like the movement for American independence from British rule in the late 18th century. The desire for independence from Spanish rule first formally emerged in 1810.

Which US states did Mexico own at the time? ›

By its terms, Mexico ceded 55 percent of its territory, including the present-day states California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming.

What was Texas called in 1821 under Mexico? ›

Mexican Texas is the historiographical name used to refer to the era of Texan history between 1821 and 1836, when it was part of Mexico. Mexico gained independence in 1821 after winning its war against Spain, which began in 1810. Initially, Mexican Texas operated similarly to Spanish Texas.

Where does Mexican ancestry come from? ›

In general, Mexicans have both European and Amerindian ancestries, and the proportion varies by region and individuals. African ancestry is also present, but in lower proportion. There is genetic asymmetry, with the direct paternal line predominately European and the maternal line predominately Amerindian.

Is it true that Mexico's Independence Day is Cinco de Mayo? ›

Is Cinco de Mayo Mexico's Independence Day? No. Cinco de Mayo is often mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day in the United States, but Mexican independence is actually celebrated on Sept. 16.

Is the true Mexican Independence Day September? ›

That holiday occurs on September 16 each year, the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores, a speech and battle cry uttered by Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810 that inspired the movement that ultimately freed Mexico from Spanish rule.

What does Mexico celebrate on September 15? ›

— On Sept. 15, it marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which coincides with a number of Independence Day celebrations for Central American countries including El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and others. Mexican Independence Day is officially recognized on Sept.

What is Mexico's Independence Day often confused with? ›

Mexico's Independence Day marks the beginning of a decade-long revolution. Commonly confused with Cinco de Mayo in the U.S., this holiday celebrates the moment when Father Hidalgo called for Mexico's independence from Spain in September 1810.

Why do people mistake Cinco de Mayo for Mexican Independence Day? ›

What is Cinco de Mayo? People often mistake Cinco de Mayo for a celebration of Mexican independence, which is not actually correct. Rather, the holiday celebrates a failed French invasion after a fledgling Mexican state defaulted on debt payments to European governments.

What is the difference between Mexican independence and Cinco de Mayo? ›

France withdrew from Mexico in 1867. Cinco de Mayo - which literally translates to “May 5″ - is not Mexican Independence Day, a totally separate holiday that is celebrated on Sept. 16, and marks the start of the war of Mexican independence from Spain.

What's the difference between Mexican Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo? ›

1. It's not Mexico's Independence Day: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the triumph of the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. This victory occurred over 50 years after Mexico's Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16.

Do Mexicans celebrate Mexican Independence Day? ›

HOUSTON — It's one of Mexico's most important holidays and is celebrated by Mexicans and Mexican descendants worldwide. Mexican Independence Day is often referred to as “El Grito” or “El Grito de Independencia,” a tribute to the battle cry that launched a rebellion in 1810.

What happens at 11 pm on September 15 in Mexico? ›

Every 15 September at around 11 p.m., the President of Mexico stands on the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City and rings the same bell that Hidalgo rang in 1810, which was moved to the National Palace.

What food is eaten on Mexican Independence Day? ›

Chiles en nogada is a special dish in Mexico eaten around the month of September to celebrate Independence Day. This summer marked 200 years since its creation.

When did Spain leave Mexico? ›

When Mexico achieved its independence from Spain in 1821, it included most of the viceroyalty of New Spain, minus the Caribbean and the Philippines.


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