How to Celebrate Sept. 16, Mexican Independence Day

Here are some popular celebrations across the United States

The Angel of Independence, Mexico City
Sergio Mendoza Hochmann / Getty Images

Sept. 16 is Mexican Independence Day, a holiday that is celebrated not just in Mexico, but also in states across the U.S. If you are visiting Texas or New Mexico in September, you may have the chance to participate in some of the biggest Sept. 16 festivities. 

The History

In 1810 on Sept. 16, Father Miguel Hidalgo sounded "El Grito," or "The Cry of Independence" in Dolores, in the State of Guanajuato. "El Grito" called for independence and sovereignty for Mexico. Hidalgo inspired the people of Mexico with a fiery cry: "Long live religion! Long live our Lady of Guadalupe! Long live the Americas and death to the corrupt government!" 

At the same time as Hidalgo gave his call to action, other revolutions broke out in all of Latin America. The 16th of September is the biggest holiday in Mexico. So, today, the Latino community celebrates the anniversary of this heroic cry for freedom with fiestas, decorations and a remembrance of the importance of freedom.

Where to Find Sept. 16 Activities

You can find Mexican Independence Day celebrations throughout the Southwest. For example: 

This town celebrates Diez y Seis de Septiembre Parade & Fiesta, as well as Mariachi Sundays in September. In the past, you could also find the Whole Enchilada Festival the next weekend in Las Cruces.

El Paso, Texas

Sept. 16 festivities are big in El Paso.  The celebration starts with a commemorative shout, which kicks off entertainment, such as mariachi music and folk dancing, as well as children's games, art, and food.  Houston, Texas

One of Houston's biggest events of the year is the Fiestas Patrias celebration, in honor of Mexico's independence from Spain. You can see dancers take to the streets to live music, as the whole city seems to come to life in remembrance.

Phoenix, Ariz.

Fiestas Patrias attracts thousands of people to make it Arizona's largest Mexican Independence Day celebration. The event is free and includes food, music and carnival rides. 

Sedona, Ariz.

Fiesta Del Tlaquepaque celebrates Mexican Independence Day with music, art, and flamenco.

Mexico

Of course, there are also many celebrations in Mexico. Read more about celebrating the 16 de Septiembre in Mexico here:  Mexican Independence Day.