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Maybe the title of this post is a little misleading, but it is the plain and simple truth. As I write, my hubby and I are enjoying a beautiful fireworks display from the privacy of our bedroom window. While we are warm and cozy in our pajamas, the rest of the townsfolk are dressed to the nines, enjoying the biggest party of the year.
It is the Eve of Independence Day. All throughout Mexico, people are gathered tonight to witness each town's re-enactment of El Grito de Independencia (Cry of Independence), first given by Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810.
Here in Yahualica, everyone gathers in El Jardin (the townsquare), which is directly in front of La Presidencia (City Hall), to watch El Presidente Municipal (Mayor) recite El Grito. It's a tradition rich in history and fills everyone with a sense of patriotic pride. When the Presidente opens with "Viva los heroes de la Independencia", the townsfolk respond in a mighty roar, "VIVA!" El Presidente then recites the names of the many heroes of the Independence. Followed by the words that each Mexican holds near and dear to his heart, "VIVA MEXICO! VIVA MEXICO! VIVA MEXICO!"
Then come the fireworks! We live 2 and a half block from El Centro (downtown), which is close enough to witness the fireworks display. Not a peso in the town's budget is spared. The thick cloud of dust that remains, covers the entire Jardin.
Once everyone has had a chance to recover from the smoke inhalation is when the real party begins. The Jardin becomes the town's largest dance floor. A well-known banda plays while the townspeople dance the night away into the wee hours of the morning. There are 6 stands in El Jardin selling copious amounts of tequila to keep the locals hydrated. If you take a walk to El Centro before 8 am, you will still see people dancing, sitting, talking and even sleeping in El Jardin.
I wish you all a Happy Independence Day! Viva Mexico!
(P.S.) The dancing is not the only thing that lasts all night. We can hear gunfire all over town. My hubby and kiddies will be checking our roof tomorrow morning for bullet shells!