Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dia de la Independencia

We arrived in Hermosillo on Mexican Independence day, changed immediately into our fanciest clothes and walked over to the Municipal Palace to attend the Governor's reception. We made a long receiving line, went into the reception for a quick drink, before being escorted back outside to the plaza to see "el grito" and some fireworks. El grito (the shout) is a tradition on Independence day- the mayor of every city, the Governor of every state, and the President of the country all stand on the balcony of their respective government palace building and do their own version of a cheer for Mexico, which of course always ends with "Viva Mexico!"
This is a reenactment of the cry of independence first shouted by a priest named Miguel Hidalgo, who rallied his community to revolt against the Spaniards in a battle that started September 16, 1810.
We stood in front of the palace, the white facade was lit green and red like the Mexican flag, and watched from a prime location inside the security fence the huge display of festivities. There were Mariachi bands, the military drum corps and color guard, lots of folklorico dance groups, and a huge finale timed to music with fireworks and confetti that went off in three directions.
It was a huge honor to shake the governor's hand, and to be welcomed into the city by being invited to attend this special event. We finally met our host families a little before midnight, and jumped into a really fun and full week in Hermosillo.

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