Well, last Sunday I went to a local mercado in Lafayette to take part in a celebration of Mexican Independence. Before going, I knew very little of what the independence was about or what the significance of this particular day, which was September 15th. I asked a few people, but most just said it was Mexican Independence day and little more. I decided after that to do a little research and share a few things of what I learned about the real significance of the day rather than just telling you about the fiesta.
The fiesta was held by El Ranchito, which is one of the few local latino supermarkets in the Lafayette, Louisiana area. El Ranchito was formerly a latino dance club, but after an unfortunate fire the owners decided to recreate it as a supermarket. They have a nice little area, which was conveniently turned into a floor for dancing and karaoke during the event. As we all know, no latino fiesta is complete without some salsa. They had a buffet with some traditional foods and I also tried some of their horchata and delicious fresh pineapple juice.
Latinos came from several different countries, but most were from central America and the Caribbean. I noticed a few Cubans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans.
Here are a few pictures from the event:
It was interesting to learn more about this celebration as I learned two things immediately. (1) The significant day is actually September 16th not the 15th. This was likely celebrated on the 15th because it was a Sunday. (2) The 16th of September is not actually the day that Mexico gained its independence from Spain, but rather a day marking the events that eventually led to Mexico receiving Independence from Spain. You can think of the 16th of September being similar to the “shot heard around the world” for Americans. Just as the battles of Lexington and Concord began the Revolutionary War and ultimately led to the Independence by the thirteen colonies from Great Britain so did Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s words affect the start of an uprising against Spain that lasted nearly 11 years. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was a Roman Catholic priest who is alleged to have led the planning of a revolt against Spain. ¹ The conflict is known today as the “Grito de Dolores,” meaning Cry of/from Dolores, because the town where it occurred was called Dolores. To this day Mexicans hold this day in high regard and it is a source of pride for them.
This is something that is commonly read by Mexican officials on September 16th:
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron la patria y libertad!
¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
¡Viva Galena y los Bravos!
¡Viva Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!
It alludes to many of the figures who played important roles in establishing the revolt against Spain.
Glad I went, or I would have never probably learned any of that…
Thanks for reading! Did you enjoy?
Source ¹: WikiPedia