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Mexico's Milestone: Celebrating the Bicentennial

This September marks Mexico's 200 years of independence from the Spanish with a bicentennial celebration along with the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. The entire year has been proclaimed by President Felipe Calderón as "Año de la Patria," or "Year of the Nation." There are large celebrations thought-out all 31 states. With great anticipation, flags are appearing in shop windows and attached to the backs of microbuses and taxis. Enormous tricolor banners of red, white, and green are being draped over the tops of government buildings and great plazas. mexico460 The Mexican Independence Day celebrates the events and people that eventually resulted in independence from Spain, the country that had colonized the Central American territory. On the night September 15, 1810, a Roman Catholic priest named Miguel Hidalgo ordered the church bells to ring and gathered his congregation. At midnight, he gave the Grito de Dolores speech, or the "Cry of Dolores." The Grito became a battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence against Spanish colonial government. This time every year the Mexican president restates this famous proclamation. The next day, after the president's address, there is a large military parade and festivities. These celebrations will no doubt follow late into the evening and carry over into the weekend. This event, similar to the 4th of July, invokes Mexican patriotism and illustrates the 200 years of Mexican pride.

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