Mexico's Independence Day celebrations scaled down during the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic forced Mexico to cancel its plans for a big celebration

Mexico's Independence Day celebrations scaled down during the COVID-19 pandemic
The fight for Mexico's independence was first led by many heroes such as Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama, and Jiménez - Photo: AFP
English 16/09/2020 10:25 Newsroom Mexico City Eduardo Hernández, Alberto Morales, Pedro Villa y Caña, Actualizada 10:28

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After the Mexican government announced the country would celebrate Independence Day in a different way this year, the Mexico City administration said it would launch a series of measures to prevent large crowds from gathering around the city’s main square, known as the Zócalo, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The local government announced the army and the local police would close several streets and avenues to prevent people from entering the Zócalo on September 15 and 16. Additionally, Metro station Zócalo will close on September 15, and reopen on September 16 at 2 pm. Moreover, Allende will remain closed on September 16, and Bellas Artes will close on September 16. 
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mexico City government urged people to stay at home and watch the celebrations at home. 

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Independence Day Celebrations

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador hosted the celebration on September 15 at 11 pm.  During the celebrations, Mexicans enjoyed a fireworks display and the army sang the national anthem.
Today, the Mexican armed forces participated in a military parade. It started at 10 am; however, soldiers did not march, instead, they rode horses and vehicles. Moreover, the Mexican government also organized an event to award health care workers on September 16. 
Local authorities said people can use the hashtag #VivaMéxicoenNuestrosCorazones to follow all the activities to commemorate the Mexican independence. 

President López Obrador also urged Mexicans to stay at home and enjoy the celebrations online or on TV. 

On September 13, the President attended a ceremony at the Chapultepec castle to remember Mexico’s child heroes. 

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The Mexican Independence 

On September 16, 1810, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on people to rise against the colonial government the Spanish imposed in Mexico, therefore, he has been regarded as the “father” of the Independence movement. Miguel Hidalgo adopted the ideal of different independentist groups that extended throughout the country in 1809.

On that fateful night, “the father of the nation” rang the church's bell and called people to rise against the Spanish colonizers so that Mexico would become an independent country. In Dolores, a town located in the state of Guanajuato, Hidalgo pronounced his historical speech along with the words “Long live the Americas and death to the Spanish invaders!”.
The fight for Mexico's independence was first led by many heroes such as Hidalgo, Allende, Aldama, and Jiménez, and continued thanks to José María Morelos, Hermenegildo Galeana, Mariano Matamoros, Vicente Guerrero, Leona Vicario, and thousands of women and men and after a long fight, Mexico becomes an independent country in 1821.

Nevertheless, the rebels didn't plan to rise against the colonizers until October 1, 1810, but their plan was discovered by the colonial government on September 13.

Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, the heroine who hosted the rebels at her home, warned Hidalgo and he decided to rise immediately and on September 16, at 5 a.m., Hidalgo called on the community to rise and fight for Mexico's independence. Hidalgo used the Virgin of Guadalupe as his banner.

Around 600 people armed with old rifles, machetes, sticks, and farming tools joined the rebels: farmers, workers, and artisans joined the movement.

In 1811, Hidalgo was captured by the enemy and was executed that same year.

Celebrating Mexican independence

In 1825, the first president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria declared September 16 as a national party, nevertheless, president Porfirio Díaz changed the date and established that Mexico's Independence Day would be celebrated on September 16.

Since 1825, Mexico has celebrated its independence even when it was at war with the U.S. or France.
For decades, Mexico celebrates this date with a party in Mexico City's main square, the Zócalo, on September 15, where the president rings the Dolores church's bell and remembers the heroes.

The Dolores bell

The bell Miguel Hidalgo rang on September 16 has been preserved as one of the symbols of Mexico's independence. Nowadays, the bell is kept at the National Palace in Mexico City.

Every year, the Mexican president rings the bell to commemorate and remember the who made Mexico a free and independent country.