September 6, 2016 7:27 pm

el grito de Dolores (the cry of Dolores), his call to arms against New Spain, launching the Mexican War of Independence. It would be years before I witnessed my first live el grito in San José del Cabo, when our municipal president reenacted the cry as the bell rang out and the crowd roared “Viva México!  Viva la Independencia!” MexicoFlag LOW México celebrates its Independence Day by commemorating Hidalgo’s cry in the early hours of September 16, 1810 from the town of Dolores, Guanajuato. Unlike Canada and the United States, where Canada Day and July 4 are celebrated as the birth of new nations, México’s independence would not arrive for 11 long years. On August 24, 1821 General Agustín de Iturbide and the Spanish crown signed the Treaty of Cordoba. And finally, in 1823 after 300 years of harsh and oppressive Spanish rule, México became a republic. The reenactment of Miguel Hidalgo’s el grito actually takes place on the night of September 15 at 11 p.m. The most spectacular sight is in the capital, festooned with thousands of lights and banners in the colors of Mexico’s red, white and green flag. Citizens assemble at the vast Zócalo (Plaza de la Constitución) fronting the National Palace where the president recites el grito, rings Hildalgo’s original bell and waves the majestic flag. Heroes are named … Long live Hidalgo! Long live Morelos! Long live Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez! Long live Allende! Long live Aldama and Matamoros! Viva México! The roar of the crowd is deafening, the enthusiasm irresistibly contagious. (Meanwhile, across the country, state governors and municipal presidents are performing their own ceremonies.) After the national anthem, el grito reaches a grand finale with patriotic bursts of red, white and green fireworks. While it’s also performed in Cabo San Lucas, the best place to experience el grito is in historic San José del Cabo, where Jesuits founded the Misión de San José del Cabo Añuití in 1730. Fireworks also take place in both towns; in San Lucas catch the spectacular display from Medano Beach. Our municipal government holds an official ceremony to kick off El Mes de la Patria (month of the homeland) in early September but the first sign to visitors that something’s up is the steady proliferation of colorful Mexican flags for sale on beaches and street corners. Soon, the “red, white and green” is everywhere. Decorations go up at the Municipal Palace, Plaza Míjares, and Boulevard Míjares in San José and at Plaza Leon Cota Collins and the main streets of Cabo San Lucas. Celebrations begin the week of September 16 with concerts, competitions, and sporting and cultural events. Folkloric and modern dance, traditional music and rock bands contrast the odes to tradition with modern México. This year there’ll be a Sierreño contest for young musicians to encourage traditional Mexican music. Sierreño is a genre of Norteño and traditionally uses two guitars and a tuba or accordion. La Reina de fiestas patrias (queen of the national holiday) is crowned earlier in the week and is on hand for the 15th, and the 16th’s patriotic parades. El Charreada (Mexican rodeo) opens on September 14, El Día del Charro, the day of the horsemen. Suited charros in wide brimmed sombreros perform nine events of horsemanship before the escaramuza, the final and only event for women. Riding sidesaddle and costumed in 19th century-style dresses, it’s said to symbolize women’s role as “Adelitas” who—among other feats of bravery—acted as decoys on horseback during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920. El Mes de la Patria commemorates other notable events in México’s history. The 13th, Día de los Niños Héroes, honors the six young teenage cadets who died defending México City’s Chapultepec Castle during the 1847 U.S. invasion of México. And, on September 30, México honors the birth date of Padre José María Morelos, who replaced Hildago after his death in July 1811. Morelos continued the fight until his execution in 1815. While El Mes de la Patria honors México’s independence and its many heroes, it’s also a time for celebration with fiestas and traditional cuisine. Don’t miss México’s delicious patriotic dish, Chile en Nogada (chile in walnut sauce). Created in 1821 by nuns in Puebla for Agustín de Iturbide, it was served on August 28, Iturbide’s Saint Day. Made of a poblano chili pepper, stuffed with a savory pork picadillo, it’s served smothered in a sauce of fresh cheese, cream, sherry, and pureed walnuts. Pomegranate seeds and parsley adorn the top. The green pepper and parsley, white sauce, and red seeds represent the colors of the new Mexican flag. El Mes de la Patria is an exciting and festive time to be in Los Cabos. For information on what’s up, visit Destino’s event pages, ask a local, or check with your Concierge. Special thanks to Alégria Gómez of El Corcho for contributing to this story. ¡Viva México! * [caption id="attachment_1691" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Ignored Tags: $9000, $9004, $927C, $9286, $A000, $A001, $A300, $A301 Ignored Tags: $9000, $9004, $927C, $9286, $A000, $A001, $A300, $A301[/caption]  ]]>