By Ricardo Flores Angel, Newhall Community Contributor
Mexico celebrates its Independence from Spain on the 16 of September. Most people here in the United States celebrate the Cinco de Mayo or May 5, but that day is the Celebration of the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The 16th of September is similar to July 4th in the United States, it is not the date when Independence was finally won but when Independence was declared in Guadalajara in 1810 and the Revolution formally began, sort of.
The Independence movement in Mexico actually began in 1808 with an attempted overthrow of the Spanish Viceroy by Mexico’s elite Creoles, the upper class born in the Americas but of Spanish ancestry. When the coup attempt failed, Ignacio Allende a rebel leader met with Father Miguel Hidalgo the local priest in Guadalajara. On the night of September 16, he made an impassioned speech to his congregation of local citizens and peons outlining their grievances and a Plan for a new constitution. The night of the 16th is when the big celebration begins with the Grito de Independencia sometimes called the Grito de Dolores, or the Scream for Independence which ends with “Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico!” and the ringing of a liberty bell. The second part of that yell is “Abajo con el Gobierno Malo” or Down with Bad Government.