On January 10, 2016, I landed in Mexico not sure of my future. Eighteen months later, I became a permanent legal resident. Even having lived here for almost 6 years, I am still learning new things about the country, one of which is the meaning of September 27th. There is a street in Colima named “27 de Septiembre” and I occasionally wondered what had happened on that day, and this year I finally found out.
On my neighbor’s TV, we watched the celebrations in Mexico City, and my neighbor explained to me that this was Independence Day. I was a bit confused, as we had just celebrated Independence Day on September 15-16th. Turns out that, just as July 4, 1776 was actually the beginning of the War for Independence of the United States of America, the night of September 15th was the beginning of the War of Independence for the country of Mexico – officially named Estados Unidos Mexicanos, or The United States of Mexico – the second country named United States on the continent of North America.
In the U.S., the Declaration of Independence was just that, a signed document stating that the 13 original colonies were declaring themselves independent from Great Britain. However, the British did not agree and independence was not achieved until the signing of the 1783 Treaty of Paris in which Great Britain officially acknowledged the United States as a sovereign and independent nation.
Meanwhile, in Mexico on the night of September 15, 1810 the Mexican war of independence began, led by the Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. It wasn’t until September 27, 1821 that conservatives and royalists (led by Augustín de Iturbide) of Mexico City joined forces with the guerrilla fighters and rode into the capital, ending the war. Independence from Spain was finally achieved. So this year 2021 was very special in that it marked the 200th year – the Bicentennial – of Mexico’s independence from Spain. Here it is called La Consumación de la Independencia.
I am pasting a link to the celebration here:
The video is more than 2 hours long, with almost the first hour in Spanish and consisting of speeches by President Lopez Obrador and other world leaders. If you start at the 58 minute 40 second mark, there is an explanation in Spanish of the events about to take place and beginning at the 1 hour 3 minute mark will be performances illustrating the history of the people of Mexico beginning with the Mayans. At the 1 hour 54 minute mark the fireworks and dancing begin. It is all in Spanish, but if you don’t speak the language, it is still awesome to watch.
So until next time, stay safe and Nos Vemos !