Things to do in Oaxaca: las fiestas patrias (patriotic holidays)

By now, you’ve probably noticed something is going on: there are people selling flags everywhere.  Half the businesses and houses in towns have strung up all kinds of red, white, and green decorations. The Zocalo is full of red, white, and green lights.

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photo (c) Kim Groves, 2011

This Friday, December 16th, is Independence Day.  Festivities start on Thursday evening with the Grito de Dolores in the Zócalo, commemorating the original Grito in 1810, when Miguel Hidalgo publicly proclaimed that Spanish rule of Mexico was unjust, thus beginning the War of Independence.

Two interesting facts:
1. The original grito actually took place on the 16th, but when Porfirio Díaz was president, he moved the commemoration back a day so it would take place on his birthday.
2. Nobody knows the exact wording of the original grito.  The wording that is currently used in Independence Day celebrations around the country is conventional rather than the exact words Father Hidalgo used.

The day is a whirl of fireworks, parades, music and dancing in the streets.

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photo (c) Kim Groves, 2011

Independence Day also comes with special food.  Pozole is one of the traditional foods; the other is chiles en nogada, a (green) chile relleno in a (white) nutty sauce with (red) pomegrante seeds that represents the Mexican flag.

¡Viva México!

¡Viva México!

¡VIVA MÉXICO!

One thought on “Things to do in Oaxaca: las fiestas patrias (patriotic holidays)

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