Happy Mexican Independence Day: What to know about September 16

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Happy Mexican Independence Day!

Two hundred and eleven years ago today, Father Miguel Hidalgo rang the bell in the small town of Dolores as he cried out to the Mexican people to rise up against the Spanish rule and fight for independence.

And after a decade-long revolution, Mexico was finally free. 

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated every 16th of September not only in Mexico — but around the world.

The day is often confused with Cinco de Mayo for many Americans. Unlike the 16th of September, Cinco de Mayo is not a national holiday in Mexico.

Every year, it’s a tradition for the Mexican president to honor the legacy of Father Hidalgo by performing a reenactment of sorts from the Plaza del Zócalo in Mexico City.

For the second year in a row due to COVID-19 restrictions, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador alongside the first lady gave a “grito”, rang the bell and waved the Mexican flag in front of an empty central plaza.

“El grito” is what kicks off Mexican Independence Day the night before — just before midnight.

“El grito” refers to El Grito de Dolores, “the cry” that Father Miguel Hidalgo delivered to his parish on Sept. 16, 1810.

The cry was a call to the Mexican people to rise up against the Spaniards after dealing with three centuries of Spanish Rule in Mexico.

And now — the tradition remains more alive than ever.

Mexicans, Mexican Americans and others around the world gather on the night of Sept. 15 for “El Grito”.

Although COVID restrictions have put a pause on large gatherings, you can’t restrict the amount of pride Mexicans have for their country on Sept. 16 and all year long.

And the celebrations continue.

Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Mexicans, Mexican-Americans and other Latinos and Hispanics take part in a variety of month-long celebrations.

Parts of the Bay Area are celebrating their own ways. Check back for a full list of events happening in the Bay Area to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.

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