In 1808, Napolean invaded Spain and installed his brother José as king. With this shift in power, Mexico’s “criollos” (locally born people of Spanish ancestry) saw an opportunity to seek independence. In Spain’s stratified caste system, criollos were treated as second class citizens, which led to increasing discontent.
Two years later, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest spoke El Grito de la Independencia (the Cry of Independence) in the small town of Dolores, near Guanajuato on September 16, 1810, marking the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
It took over ten years for Mexico to actually gain its independence from Spain, but since October 1825, the anniversary of “El Grito” is celebrated as Mexican Independence Day. It is a festive, celebratory day in Mexico with colorful decorations and spirited gatherings. The highlight is a huge gathering in Mexico City’s “Zocalo”, where the president delivers “El Grito” followed by fireworks and other revelry.
At Comal we will mark today’s holiday by serving our newest “plato fuerte”, roast turkey with three moles (negro, amarillo and coloradito). Hope to see you tonight to mark this occasion!
Photo (below): statue of Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in front of the church in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato