A lot of people in the World get mixed up between Mexico's Independence Day and Cinco de Mayo
But Mexico's Independence Day is about when Father Hidalgo, a priest, first asked for freedom in 1810. He gave a big speech in a town called Dolores, and then he carried a special flag with a picture of the Virgin Mary on it. This picture is very special to many people in Mexico.
Elena Albarrán, a teacher at Miami University in Ohio, says, “This day remembers the start of the fight for freedom. It's about the hope and chance to be free.”
A Long Fight for Freedom
When Hidalgo showed the flag, many people wanted to join him. They made a big group, but it was messy and had all kinds of people, like kids and grandparents. This group didn't win, and many went back to their homes.
The leaders in Spain were not happy with Hidalgo. They took away his title as a priest, and later he was punished and his head was shown in a place called Guanajuato.
Another priest, named José María Morelos, tried to continue the fight. He made the group stronger, but he also got caught and punished. The fight for freedom was very tough, and Mexico kept trying to break away from Spain. In 1821, a soldier named Agustín de Iturbide helped Mexico become free. He made promises to keep the country Catholic and make everyone equal. He became the leader of Mexico, but he spent too much money and his way didn't work. Later, Mexico chose to be a country with leaders that people vote for, and Guadalupe Victoria became the first president.
Elena says, “Most people think of Father Hidalgo as the hero of freedom, even though things didn't go perfectly.”
Mix-Up with Cinco de Mayo
In the World, some people think Mexico's big freedom day is Cinco de Mayo. Elena says, “When I teach about Mexico, some students don't know the special day, or they think it's Cinco de Mayo.”
The big reason why Cinco de Mayo is popular in the World is because companies wanted to sell drinks. “It was just a way to sell more beer,” says Beezley. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not as big as it is in the U.S. or other countries. Elena once asked her students to talk to students in Mexico about it, and the students in Mexico were very surprised by how the U.S. celebrates it.
Remembering the First Call for Freedom
Every Independence Day, the president of Mexico does something special. They remember what Hidalgo did in a town called Dolores. Beezley says that on September 15 at night, Hidalgo rang a bell and told people it was time to fight for freedom.
Now, the president rings that bell and gives a speech. “We don't know exactly what Hidalgo said because no one wrote it down,” he says. “But people everywhere can watch it on TV, and that's the main thing they celebrate.”
Even if we don't know Hidalgo's exact words, his speech is remembered as a time when he showed love for Mexico and its people. It's a time to remember when he started the journey for Mexico to be free.
A Special Dish for Mexico's Freedom Day
People all over the world love Mexican food. But there's one special dish that's not easy to find everywhere. It's called chiles en nogada. This dish has green poblano peppers filled with meat and veggies. On top, there's a white sauce made of walnuts, and it's sprinkled with red pomegranate seeds. The colours - red, white, and green - match the Mexican flag. If you want to taste this yummy dish, remember to look for it around Mexican Independence Day. Most restaurants only make it during that time of the year.