e Clase Didactica.
Nombre del alumno:___________ ______ ____ _____________
Independence Day in Mexico
The Grito de Dolores:
In the early hours of September 16th, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest
in the small town of Dolores,
Guanajuato, rang the church bell to gather the townspeople. He called for the
people of Mexico to rise up
against the Spanish Crown, thus initiating Mexico’s War of Independence.
The country did not achieve independence until 1821, but it is this event,
known as the Grito de Dolores which is commemorated every year in town squares
And this is the moment that every 16th of September is re enacted in every
plaza or zócalo of Mexico,
and commemorated by Mexicans all over the world.
Streets, houses, buildings and cars are decorated everywhere in the country. On
every street corner there are vendors selling flags, balloons, sombreros and
rehiletes -shuttlecock, all with the green, white and red, our National Colors.
Flags wave from practically every house and building.
Lighted decorations are set up in every city, the most spectacular being those
of the Zócalo, main plaza,in Mexico City. This main plaza of every town
and city is the place where the great 16 De Septiembre celebrations take place.
People of all ages come to this fiesta, to take part in the collective gaiety!
Food is always a very important part of these festivities. Literarily hundreds
of stands are set up several days before and offer the traditional antojitos,
most aptly described as a variety of finger foods, Mexican candies, and punch. Punch. ponche, is a drink made of
fruits that are in season: guayabas, sugarcane, raisins and apples, and such a
delicious aroma! During September, Mes de la Patria, the month of our nation as
it is called in Mexico, restaurants serve traditional Mexican dishes, such as
Mole Poblano , Chiles en Nogada, Guacamole and chips.
During the evening of September 15, people start gathering in the
zócalo. Many people walk around dressed in typical Mexican dress: men as
Charros and women as China Poblanas, or indigenous dresses. Those who
don’t own a typical outfit, at least dress find something to wear in the
colors of the flag.
Live Mariachi Music bands play to the delight of all present. There are also
photography stands where onecan have a picture taken, attired with a sombrero
and atop a wooden horse!
The euphoria is collective and all are prepared to shout, yell and make as much
noise as possible with fake trumpets, noisemakers and whistles!
As the evening advances, the plaza gradually fills with more and more people;
suddenly there is practically no room to move. Excitement and euphoria reach a
crescendo at the culminating moment when a government official arrives in the
zócalo, at 11:00 P.M. to give the grito or cry of Independence. This ritual recreates the
moment in which Father
Hidalgo, gathered his followers in Dolores Guanajuato.
It is customary for our President to deliver the grito in Mexico City’s zócalo. It is in
this plaza, atop Palacio Nacional, the National
Palace -a beautiful colonial building
where the President’s offices are located-
that the original bell rung by Hidalgo
is placed. And this is the bell that is rung every 16th of September.
The ceremony reaches the high point when the
crowd joins in proudly shouting out the names of the heroes of our Independence, to end with
the exciting VIVA MÉXICO!
When the grito ceremony ends, the sky lights up
withmulticolored rockets that shower our hearts with the pride of knowing that
we are a free and independent nation.
Independence Day in Mexico
Answer the following questions about the text.
1. What time of day did Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla ring the church bell?
a) At 9pm
b) In the morning
c) At lunch time
2. What are the national colors of Mexico?
a) Green, white and red.
b) Orange, white and red.
c) Blue and red.
3. What are “Finger foods”?
a) A three course meal.
b) Similar to snacks.
4. What is ponche made of?
a) Guayabas, sugar cane, raisins, oranges and apples.
b) Guayabas, sugar cane, raisins, apples and guacamole.
c) Guayabas, sugar cane, raisins and apples.
5. What do the men dress as during the evening of 15th September?
a) Chinas poblanas
6. What is another word for “euphoria”?
7. What ritual is recreated in the Zócalo at 11pm on September 15th ?
a) The Battle of Puebla
b) The moment in which Father Hidalgo gathered his followers in
c) The opening of the Palacio Nacional