¡Que Viva!

Last night was the celebration of Mexican Independence day. Today is actually the declared holiday, but most of the festivities were last night.

We didn’t stay up for all the celebrations (which could possibly last into the early morning).

A friend of Adolfo’s is leaving soon to begin his PhD at the Complutense in Madrid, so we had dinner in Zapopan (one of those “it use to be a small town and now it’s a suburb” kind of places). Before dinner we went to the Museo de Arte de Zapopan to see a photo exhibit of migration. It was pretty good and Adolfo and I realized that we had actually seen parts of this exhibit in Zacatecas, while on the grand journey. I’ve been to this museum before, and I always want it to be more than it is. It’s a decent small museum, but I want it to be better.

After dinner, we walked around the plaza and took in the sights. We wanted to stay for the Grito, but we were told that the Mayor of Zapopan wouldn’t begin speaking until about 11:30pm. (If you happen to be in Mexico City, the President gives the Grito.)

The Grito is basically part of the speech given by Hidalgo calling for the independence of Mexico. He ended the speech with, “¡Mexicanos, viva México!” Which was extra exciting, because the country was called New Spain at the time.

We decided to head out. There is a sort of New Year’s Eve/Forth of July danger about driving home after the Grito (people get very drunk). Also, there are castillos de cuetes, or castles of fireworks. Which are wooden structures that spin and light up (they can be about 20 ft. tall) while fireworks shoot out of them. They seem very exciting and unreliable. (Hmm, wooden structure, shooting fire, crowds of people… I can see some of my cousins really enjoying this.) I have not actually seen one in action, but I think I’m ok with that.

So, instead of staying for the real action, we saw the drum and bugle corp play a few songs and we walked around the plaza looking at people and checking out the vendors. I really want a Virgin of Zapopan candle, but none of the vendors were hawking virgin candles. It was a nice calm evening, and we went home and laid in bed, listening to the fireworks and music until the wee hours.

Now, I think Dan should be able to build Aunt Mary a Castillo by next 4th of July.

3 Responses to “¡Que Viva!”

  1. Beth Says:

    Partypoopers! I wanted to see pictures of the fireworks. I bet it was cool!

  2. Paul Says:

    So, if this day celebrates the start of their battle for independence from Spain in 1810 (gaining independence 10 years later?), what about Cinco de Mayo? It was the independence from Imperial rule by France in the middle 1800’s. ????

  3. deeb Says:

    Beth: sorry, we are apparently old fogies. Maybe next year we’ll be rested up for the all night party.

    Paul: 5 de mayo is a federal holiday here and not the big celebration it is in the states. The Battle of Puebla is a date when the Mexican forces managed to defeat Napoleon’s French army (once). Then they were creamed and France occupied Mexico. The next big deal holiday is 12 of December – the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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