Friday, September 16

Festivals and Celebrations: Mexican Independence Day

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Happy Mexican Independence Day!

Mexican Independence Day (also known as El Grito de Independencia, or El Grito de Dolores) is celebrated on September 16 every year, to mark the anniversary of Mexico's independence.

On September 16, 1810, a Roman Catholic priest called Father Miguel Hidalgo launched a decade-long struggle for independence from the Spanish empire. Other prominent figures in Mexico's struggle for Independence included Father Jose Maria Morelos and General Augustin de Iturbide, who would go on to become Mexico's first leader.

In 1821, a treaty recognized Mexican independence from Spain and called for a constitutional monarchy. The plans to establish a monarchy failed, and a republic was declared in December of 1822 and established in 1824.

The story of Mexico is a story of a people's long struggle for democracy, human rights, and respect for their country's sovereignty. Regardless of many challenges, including foreign invasions and periods of violent internal conflict, Mexico has made tremendous progress in economic development, education, and in achieving a high standard of living for its growing population. It is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world and the second most-populous country in Latin America after Portuguese-speaking Brazil. According to some estimates, the population of the area around Mexico City is nearly 22 million, making it the most populated city in the Western Hemisphere.

Image: Morguefile

Adapted from Public Domain articles by VOA News: Special English

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