It’s almost time to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month — and what better way to do so than with an independence day celebration. The barbecuing summer days of the Fourth of July in the U.S. might be behind us, but in Mexico, Central America, and Puerto Rico, the party is just getting started. Trading in the stripes and stars for reds, greens, whites, and blues, here’s how these countries celebrate.
Because we all know Mexican independence is not Cinco de Mayo, right?! — Though we won’t stop you from celebrating with some tequila or mezcal — Mexican independence from Spain is celebrated on September 16. Mexico goes all out in its celebrations with different traditions to satisfy all kinds of partygoers.
For the history buff, you can check out the live streaming of Mexico City’s Independence Day celebrations at the zocalo on Univision. The start of the Mexican Independence movement is attributed to Miguel Hidalgo’s Grito de Dolores in 1810, as he united the Mexican people in fighting against centuries of colonial Spanish rule. Each year cities around Mexico keep up with this tradition known as El Grito with chants of “Viva Mexico” from town squares.
For the foodie, celebrate Mexican independence with a Mexican flag inspired chile en nogada. Legend has it that this popular dish was created by a group of nuns at the Santa Monica Convent in Puebla immediately following the declaration of independence in 1891. And when else would you have the chance to try the sweet, savory, and spicy combination of a cheesy, pomegranate topped pepper?
If you’re more of a straight up disco queen, there are definitely parties for you. Mexico starts the celebrations early—late in the night of September 15. The zocalos, streets, and nightclubs will be packed. Just make sure to avoid that cruda once the actual independence day arrives. And you won’t miss out if you want to join in the fun in the US—with celebrations in L.A., New York, or Chicago.