In my last post, I mentioned that we wouldn’t be going downtown to the main square (called the Zócalo) for the Independence Day “grito.” Well, that was a lie, because we did! We spent the evening (and all night, in fact) with one of our students and her family, and they decided that they’d like to go downtown for the grito. It was a perfect year for us to go, actually, because it had been raining and many people had cleared out early so we weren’t totally squashed against other people like the metro at rush hour on a rainy day (not a fun experience as I’m sure you can imagine).
You may have heard the news about what happened at the Independence Day celebration in the city of Morelia, capital of Michoacán. It’s a city hours away from where we live, and nothing like that thankfully happened here in Mexico City. However, Morelia is where the current President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, was born, and many people here still refuse to recognize him as the true President (including part of the government and part of the police force), so it might have had something to do with that. Nobody is sure yet. But I’ll save that for another post…
Anyway, on Monday night, the streets that we walked on from the metro stop to the Zócalo were filled with people having fun throwing confetti and spraying each other with bottles of foam. We decided to get festive with some hats, headbands, and fake moustaches:
When we arrived in the main square, hundreds of thousands of people were still there and it was impressive. Here are some pictures:
Next, a Mariachi band played, and then the President of Mexico came outside on the balcony of the main federal building and led the crowd in the “gritos” to honor national heroes, and finishing with “¡Viva México!” or “Long Live Mexico!” Here is a great video that I took of the “grito.”
After the gritos was a fireworks display that was right over the Cathedral. Here’s a short video with music and the fireworks.
We were really excited that we got to experience Mexican Independence Day in the Zócalo. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!