"El Grito"

Mexican Independence Day

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Flags & other souvenirs for sale! Viva Mexico!

Soon, the cry for independence will be heard throughout Manzanillo. The 16th of September, or Mexican Independence Day is the culmination of Fiestas Patrias, a festival celebrating Mexico's independence from Spain, and one of the biggest parties of the entire year! The festival reaches a dramatic peak on September 15 at 11 p.m. when President Felipe Calderon appears on the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City to recite the "Grito de Dolores."

Frends party in El Centro

Decorations downtown Manzanillo In Manzanillo, televisions will be tuned in to him,  fiestas will be going on, but everyone will stop to repeat the "grito" (shout) with him: "Long Live Independence! Long Live America! Death to Bad Government!" (More photos)

The original "El Grito de Dolores," or "Grito de Independencia". (proclamation for independence) was made on September 15, 1810 by Father Miguel Hidalgo, from the balcony of the Parish of Nuestra Senora de Los Dolores (Our Lady of Sorrows), in the village named Dolores, Guanajuato.

Traditional Charro singer

Parque Hidalgo in Colima A heroic parish priest, who is widely regarded as the Father of Mexican Independence and a symbol of patriotism, Hidalgo was responsible for leading the first revolutionary forces against the Spaniards. Following his proclamation, he was excommunicated September 24 by the bishop of Michoacán, but by this time he was more of a practicing general than a priest. He had a wife and two illegitimate daughters, and appeared to regard the Catholic Church as a source of regular income rather than a vocation.  Statue of Father Hidalgo in central Manzanillo
Mural in the Governor's Palace, Colima Tragically, however, shortly after his "Grito," he was captured and executed by a firing squad in 1811 at the age of 64. 

Father Hidalgo's martyrdom galvanized the Mexican people to struggle and fight for freedom, although it was 1821 when Mexico finally won its  independence from Spain. 

Mural depicting Mexican Independence
Fiesta  at a local restaurant Celebrating Mexicans at a local restaurant give the "Grito" in 2004. Large parties are held in private homes and restaurants throughout Manzanillo! 

Even at the local fabric store there are beautiful printed bolts of cloth in various colors, sporting patriotic designs and the words Viva Mexico!

Sampling a little tequila to get ready for the "Grito"
Hidalgo Theatre in the state capital Hidalgo lived in the city of Colima for 8 months in 1792. His house is located on Torres Quintero 70. It now houses the government workers' union. 

Hidalgo Park, Av. 20 de Noviembre, and the train station are also named after this famous leader.

The Hidalgo Theatre, on Degollado and Independencia, was inaugurated September 15, 1883. In 1941 it was severely damaged by an earthquake, and for 20 years it lay in ruins.  It was repaired and restored in 1961, and in 1997 a modern light and sound system was added.

In 1792 Hidalgo was priest of the parish of Colima City.  The church that Father Hidalgo served was El Beaterio, also known as San Felipe de Jesús on Constitución 70.

Father Hidalgo's house in Colima
El Beaterio, 200-year-old church Interior of Father Hidalgo's church, Colima
The "Hombre" and restaurant staff celebrate In Manzanillo and throughout the state of Colima, Hidalgo will be honored and Independence Day will be celebrated with parades, fireworks, fiestas, and the ringing of cathedral bells.

It's a fantastic time to be here and enjoy this rich and exciting tradition! 

Mock cockfights are held at the Colima Bay Cafe

For more historical information, and to find out about other Mexican holidays, order the 150-page tourist guidebook, "Manzanillo and the state of Colima, Facts, Tips and Day Trips," by local author Susan Dearing.