Event Category: Mexico Holidays/Observances
The day of the Cry of Dolores (El Grito de Dolores) is a special observance held on September 15, which is closely linked to Independence Day in Mexico.
Celebrate the day of the Cry of Dolores
Also known as the day of the Shout of Dolores, this event is celebrated on the night of September 15, when the Mexican president rings a bell at the National Palace in Mexico City at 11pm. The president then shouts the cry of patriotism, based on the Cry of Dolores, also called the cry of independence. The following day, Independence Day, is a public holiday in Mexico.
The Shout of Dolores is an observance and not a federal public holiday in Mexico.
About the day of the Cry of Dolores
One of Mexico’s greatest heroes Miguel Hidalgo is believed to have made the cry of independence (El Grito de la Independencia) in the town of Dolores, in the north-central part of the Mexican state of Guanajuato. Hidalgo was one of the nation’s leaders during the War of Independence in Mexico.
There is no scholarly agreement on Hidalgo’s exact words, but his speech – the cry of Dolores – was made on September 16, 1810 to motivate people to revolt against the Spanish regime. Hidalgo’s army fought against the Spanish soldiers for independence, but he was captured and executed on July 30, 1811. Mexico’s independence was not declared until September 28, 1821.
The Grito. This is the most patriotic moment in the Mexican year, when Mexicans embrace their history, their country, their flag. It’s the most important of September events in San Miguel and in all of Mexico. Great patriotic fervor goes into celebrating this reenactment of the famous “shout” of independence first given by Father Hidalgo in 1810 in Dolores Hidalgo, about 25 miles from San Miguel. Flags are everywhere and banners hang from the buildings. Many people paint green-white-and-red stripes on their faces. The crowds begin pouring into the Jardín by late afternoon or early evening. A runner bearing a torch arrives at 11 p.m. Then the Mayor recites Father Hidalgo’s proclamation of independence from the balcony of the Allende House, on the corner of the Jardín. Every few seconds, the throngs below respond by shouting “Viva!” This same scene is being played out in this same way at this very moment in every town and city in Mexico. This is THE September event in San Miguel and everywhere in Mexico.
It ends with one of the biggest fireworks displays of the year (which, in San Miguel, is saying something). Kids and young men don huge, wide-brimmed sombreros to protect themselves from the falling sparks and dance under the fiery showers from the castillos. Celebrations continue pretty much through the night.
The absolute best (and by far the most comfortable) way to watch the Grito and the ensuing fireworks display is from the upper floor or roof of a building right on the Jardín. If that’s not feasible, arrive early and don’t plan on going home early. The square will be sardine-packed. No one gets out until everyone gets out.
September 16 – The party continues with parades, conchero dance