Recently we were asked by newcomers if Mexicans in Puerto Vallarta do anything for their Independence Day. Do they ever! Though the actual date is September 16th, observances take place in Mexico on the eve of a given celebration. Our friends were confused when the 5th of May came and went, and there was nary a peep. In the US and some places in Canada, this is a huge party day…Cinco de Mayo! Even Mexicans can’t figure out why their northern neighbors have chosen this day, other than the fact it was one of many battles won during the revolution. The Battle of Puebla, as the 5th of May is known, was a hard fought victory for Mexico but it is truly observed only in the town where it took place, Puebla. Independence Day is a country-wide gala, commemorating the day, when in the small town of Dolores, in the area of Guanajuato, a Mexican Catholic priest, Miguel Hidalgo, made the most famous speech in Mexican history. Hidalgo urged the crowd to revolt and to refuse to be patriots of Napoleon and the few elite citizens who had control of the country.
Though it may be very crowded, we recommend finding a spot on the Malecón to observe the festivities. Expect thick crowds and lots of noise, as this festival seems to grow exponentially every year with the gathering of locals; truly a family night of high spirits, amazing fireworks and gaiety. The highlight of the evening is a reenactment of the famous cry of Hidalgo (el Grito) and in Puerto Vallarta, this display will take place at the Palacio Municipal (city hall) on the Plaza de Armas, the main plaza across the street from the Catedral de Guadalupe. Our honorable mayor will thrill the throngs with a speech consisting of the following (in Spanish, of course): Mexicans! Long live the heroes that gave us the Fatherland and liberty! Long live Hidalgo! Long live Morelos! Long live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez! Long live Allende! Long live Galeana and the Bravos! Long live Aldama and Matamoros! Long live National Independence! Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico! Long Live Mexico! Citizens are invited to join in this cry and we love shouting Viva México along with the crowds.
Expect more people than you could have thought could fit into downtown Puerto Vallarta; lots of great music, including brilliant Mariachi and typical street food. We never miss the chance to have a taste of Chiles en Nogada, the traditional Independence Day meal.
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Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!
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