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Mexican Independence Day: Celebrating Freedom

Mexican Independence Day: Celebrating Freedom

The United States celebrates its Independence Day on the 4th of July, commemorating its legal separation from Great Britain by virtue of its Declaration of Independence.
Mexican Independence Day, celebrated with joyous pride and unbridled enthusiasm, is held every year on September 16. The holiday falls on a Saturday this year, which promises to enliven the festivities.

Dating back to 1810, Independence Day honors Mexico’s fight for freedom from Spanish rule led by Father Miguel Hidalgo, a brave priest in the state of Guanajuato who gave his life for the cause. The site of several advanced Amerindian civilizations, Mexico was conquered and colonized by Spain in the early 16th century. Administered as the Viceroyalty of New Spain for three centuries, Mexico finally achieved its independence just over 200 years ago. 

From the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts and everyplace in between, this national holiday celebrates the country’s culture, history and traditions with lively parades, marching bands, street festivals, musical concerts, dancing, food (LOTS of food), refreshments and, after dark, brilliant fireworks to brighten the sky.
Tequila, mezcal, sangria and beer flow freely on Independence Day, but be sure to sample traditional Mexican ponche (fruit punch) made from sugarcane, oranges, pears, guavas, raisins and apples seasoned with cinnamon and clove.

Los Cabos is an epicenter for these revelries.
According to the Los Cabos Tourism Board, “Each year on September 16th, electrifying energy fills the air in Los Cabos. The rhythmic beats of mariachi music, the aroma of sizzling street food, and the mingling laughter of locals and visitors signal the arrival of Mexican Independence Day celebrations in this enchanting destination.”

Locals, of course, are all in on the festivities. Visitors, said the Tourism Board, are invited “to experience a cultural extravaganza…and unforgettable moments found only in this unique destination nestled between the majestic Sea of Cortes and the rugged beauty of the Baja Peninsula.”

Note: While Mexican Independence Day is officially recognized on September 16, the celebrations actually start the night before. It is then that Los Cabos comes alive with spirited fiestas honoring Mexico's liberation from colonial rule. From Cabo San Lucas to San José del Cabo, an array of easy-to-join festivities awaits visitors. For a memorable experience, immerse yourself in the local traditions by joining a vibrant parade or marveling at folkloric dances with swirling skirts and contagious rhythms.

As of this month, a new tradition is underway at LaFrida, the highly acclaimed gourmet Mexican restaurant at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach. To kick off the restaurant’s culinary festival, a varied array of dishes will be featured each week through December. LaFrida will commemorate Independence Day with a special chiles en nogada dish to be served throughout September. This classic dish of poblano chiles stuffed with savory meat features the three colors of the Mexican flag: green (fresh parsley), white (walnut cream sauce) and red (pomegranate seeds). This dish can be ordered in addition to a fantastic set menu that offers seasonal ingredients and recipes that include corn and mole. On Friday, September 15th and Saturday the 16th, diners can celebrate “Viva Mexico!” with a special 5-course Mexican tasting menu. There’s no better way to savor the nation’s most important holiday.