A common misconception in the US and Canada is that May 5, aka Cinco de Mayo, is Mexico’s Independence Day. In fact, Mexico celebrates Independence Day–arguably the country’s most important national holiday–on September 16.
El Grito de Dolores (the Cry of Dolores) refers to the Mexican “cry” for independence, first begun in the town of Dolores, near Guanajuato, on September 16, 1810, which marked the beginning of Mexico’s War for Independence. A Roman Catholic Priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, gathered his congregation, ordered the church bells loudly rung, and gave a speech in front of the church, encouraging the townspeople to revolt–thereby starting a movement that would, after a decade of war, finally set Mexico free from oppressive Spanish colonial rule.
September is an exciting month to visit Mexico–while still less crowded than in more popular travel months, September affords visitors to Tulum hotels the opportunity to witness authentic local experiences like Mexico’s Independence Day celebrations. Ambulatory street vendors carry a multitude of Mexico-themed paraphernalia like flags, t-shirts, earrings, and much more. Locals wear their green, white, and red with national pride and their enthusiasm and love for their country is contagious.
Visitors will enjoy regional and national entertainment like traditional song and dance, while children can enjoy carnival rides and games. Street vendors proffer a plethora of delicious Mexican food and snacks, and everyone can enjoy celebratory fireworks. All of this leads up to the most important event: El Grito. Just before midnight on September 15, townspeople gather in the square, waving their flags and proudly wearing their Mexican apparel. Just as the clock strikes midnight into September 16, everyone yells and cheers, celebrating again the first fateful stand made for Mexico’s Independence so many years before.