Diez y Seis de Septiembre
An educational project of the
Houston Institute for Culture

Mexico Celebrates Its Independence on the 16th of September

On the church steps in the town of Dolores Hidalgo, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Castilla read the Gritto de Hidalgo (or "Call of Hidalgo") in 1810.

That day, September 16 (Diez y Seis de Septiembre), Father Hidalgo launched the Mexican War of Independence against Spain. After the declaration, Hidalgo and his followers set out to spread the word to nearby San Miguel de Allende. Hidalgo affixed an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe to a staff, bringing the Virgin to symbolize the Mexican liberation movement.

The struggle against Spain centered around the rights of the Criollos (or "Creoles") who were born in the New World with Spanish ancestry, but not given the privilege of those born in Europe. Following the war, those born in Europe were expelled from Mexico.

Another important celebration which originated in Mexico and is observed extensively in Texas is the Fiesta of the Virgin of Guadalupe, held on December 12. The important religious holiday honors Juan Diego's sighting of the Virgin in 1531 with processions, offerings and church services.