Festivals, Food, Oaxaca life

10 Ways to Celebrate Mexican Independence Day from Afar!

Viva México! Viva México! Viva México!

Forget Cinco de Mayo, September 16 is the day to celebrate all things Mexican. In case you weren’t aware, nobody in Mexico, except for Poblanos*, celebrates Cinco de Mayo. It isn’t even observed as an official national Mexican holiday, and it definitely isn’t their Independence Day, for those of you who were wondering. Mexico’s Independence Day is right around the corner on September 16! And there’s no better time to share your love for Mexico than to join in on festivities.

IMG_2889Mexico’s independence all started on the 16th of September 1810, when a priest in the town of Dolores, had 80 rebels freed from a jail and then gave a mass to encourage a revolution against the viceregal government of Spain. His cry has become known as El Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores). It is now re-enacted in every city and town center in Mexico on the night of the 15th of September. The historical date marks the start of a War of Independence.

In the past couple of days, street vendors have switched out their usual merchandise for patriotic items such as red, white and green t-shirts, flags and sombreros. By Monday, everyone will be dolled up and ready to celebrate Mexico! So what are some ways to get involved in the celebration from afar…?

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These tips are all bias to Oaxaca, and some require prep!

  1. Add the following artists/bands to your playlist: Rodrigo Gonzalez, Vicente Fernández, Café Tacvba, Lila Downs y Banda Limon. It will cover everything from Mariachi to Folkloric to Mexican rock.
  2. Make some confetti eggs, which you will then smash upon the heads of your friends and family, a typical, all be it messy, tradition in Oaxaca.
  3. Dress in red, white and green.
  4. Bring some Oaxacan drinking chocolate and bread to work to share (mainly so everyone understands that you aren’t, already, dressing up for Christmas).
  5. Hit up your favorite street tacos for lunch.Posada
  6. Check out the work of José Guadalupe Posada. While his prints and drawings of skulls and skeletons were meant to make satirical points, they are now widely associated with Day of the Dead and modern Mexican art.
  7. Book a table at your favorite Mexican restaurant (and bring your confetti eggs).
  8. Honor Gabriel García Márquez, who passed away this past April, by checking out one of his books to read. While he is Columbian, he had spent the last decade living in Mexico, and they love him here.
  9. Enjoy some a Mezcal or agua de horchata (rice water) with friends. If it’s mezcal, learn the phrase, “Para todo mal mezcal, para todo bien, también”
  10. Donate to your favorite Mexican organization. If that’s us, ¡Viva En Vía!

Happy Celebrations! Feliz fiestas de México! Viva México!

*Poblanos, are residents of the state of Puebla, and they actually do celebrate El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (The Day of the Battle of Puebla). This was a battle that took place on May 5, 1862 in which they defeated the French, and was considered to be an unlikely victory for Mexico. Cinco de Mayo is an observed state holiday of Puebla.

 

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