Mexican Independence Day celebrates the call to arms in Mexico in 1810 that led to the Mexican War of Independence that resulted in the creation of the independent nation of Mexico.
Every year Mexicans around the world celebrate this event with festivities & a show of patriotism. In Toronto, we've staged free & public Independence Day celebrations annually since 1994. The Toronto event is regularly recognized as one of the largest Mexican Independence Day celebrations outside of Mexico itself & the largest of its kind in Canada.
With its mix of traditional & contemporary Mexican dance & music, authentic Mexican food, culture, crafts, art & more, this event brings together the Mexican community into the public realm for all to experience, regardless of heritage. We strive to celebrate our heritage & share it with the community at large as well as connect Mexicans to their roots, traditions & fellow community. The event is family-friendly & appropriate for all age groups & people of all cultures.
The event is produced by the non-profit Mexican Day Toronto & all work & effort put in to create the event is voluntary. The organizers greatly appreciate the efforts & donations of its partners to help bring this annual event to the City of Toronto & the Greater Toronto Area.
A Brief History of Mexican Independence Day
Mexican Independence Day, is celebrated on September 16th every year. It commemorates the beginning of Mexico's struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. This historic event took place on the night of September 15, 1810, when the priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the church bell in the town of Dolores and delivered his famous "Grito de Dolores" (Cry of Dolores), a call to arms that ignited the Mexican War of Independence.
The celebration of Mexican Independence Day is filled with vibrant colors, music, dancing, parades, and fireworks. The main festivities are centered around the Zócalo, the main square in Mexico City, where thousands of people gather to participate in the revelry. The Mexican flag, with its iconic green, white, and red stripes, is proudly displayed everywhere, from private homes to public buildings, symbolizing the country's independence and national pride.
One of the highlights of the celebrations is the reenactment of the "Grito de Dolores," where the President of Mexico stands on the balcony of the National Palace and shouts "Viva México!" (Long live Mexico!) to the cheering crowds below. The excited response of the crowd echoes this cry, creating an electric atmosphere. Following the "grito," the national anthem is sung, and fireworks light up the sky, marking the beginning of the official holiday.
Throughout Mexico, people celebrate Independence Day in their own unique ways and is distinctly different from Cinco de Mayo, a popular Americanized Mexican event that celebrates a relatively minor colonial battle. Traditional Mexican food, such as tacos, tamales, and enchiladas, are enjoyed with family and friends. Streets and plazas are adorned with decorations featuring images of the heroes of the independence movement, like Miguel Hidalgo and José María Morelos. Additionally, folkloric dances, mariachi music, and traditional attire add to the festive ambiance of the day.
Mexican Independence Day serves as a powerful symbol of unity and patriotism for the people of Mexico. It is a time for reflection on the courage and sacrifices of those who fought for independence, as well as a celebration of the rich cultural heritage and diversity that defines Mexico. Whether in Mexico or abroad, Mexicans take pride in their country, its history, and the ongoing pursuit of freedom and independence.