In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become a significant annual celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. But visitors to Mexico may be surprised to find that there isn’t a lot of celebration taking place on the fifth of May, outside of Puebla, where the holiday commemorates the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire in the Battle of Puebla. That’s because most of the country is prepping for Mexican Independence Day … when Mexico really parties. This is a time when Mexicans show their national pride – but it’s also a great time for visitors to participate in an unforgettable cultural event. Several of Barceló Hotel Group’s all inclusive resorts and urban hotels in Mexico – including Barceló Maya Grand Resort, Occidental Cozumel, Occidental Costa Cancún, and Occidental Tucancún – are perfect places to join the fiesta.
When is Mexican Independence Day?
Mexican Independence Day is celebrated each year on September 15-16. All government offices, banks, and schools are closed on the 16th to make way for the many parades and civic ceremonies across the country to commemorate Mexico’s independence.
The History of Mexican Independence Day
Mexican Independence Day commemorates the momentous day when priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called on Mexicans to rise up against the colonial government of Spain in 1810. Father Hidalgo’s famous Grito (“a cry of independence”) took place in the town of Dolores, and his powerful speech rallied the people behind the movement. It was only the beginning of the struggle for freedom – independence wouldn’t be achieved until 10 years later, following much hardship. But from this day forth, the “Cry of Dolores” became an inspiration for all Mexicans. And it remains that way today: every year on the eve of Independence Day, Mexico’s re-enacts the Grito from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City, while ringing the same bell Hidalgo used in 1810, reminding all of the sacrifices their ancestors made. Throughout all of Mexico, local politicians do the same in their cities and villages.
Mexican Independence Day Celebrations on the Mayan Riviera
Located on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera, the all inclusive Barceló Maya Grand Resort (comprised of Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Caribe, Barceló Maya Colonial, Barceló Maya Tropical, and the all-suite, AAA Four-Diamond Barceló Maya Palace) pulls out all the stops for Mexican Independence Day. You’ll enjoy a colorful parade, mariachi bands, a festive fiesta and deliciously authentic eats – don’t miss the Chiles en Nogada, a stuffed poblano, walnut cream and pomegranate dish that is a Dia del Independencia favorite. Guests also have easy access to the celebrations taking place in Playa del Carmen – the famed Fifth Avenue overflows with revelers, and the park in front of City Hall (between 8th St. and 10th St. and 15th Ave. and 25th Ave.) is the site of the official Independence Day festival.
Mexican Independence Day Celebrations in Cancún
In Cancún, Mexican Independence Day celebration takes place on Ave. Tulum, where tens of thousands of locals gather at midnight on Sept. 15 to hear the bell rung and to hear El Grito – the “cry of independence – re-enacted. Then there’s a fantastic firework display and much partying, dancing, mariachi music, and folk dancing. Your idyllic all-inclusive, beachside home bases during Mexican Independence Day are the nearby Occidental Costa Cancún and Occidental Tucancún, both situated between the famous Boulevard Kukulcán and the sparkling Caribbean Sea.
Mexican Independence Day in Cozumel
Mexican Independence Day activities in Cozumel are centered on the city’s municipal palace and always include a carnival and amusement rides, family-run food stands, a wide variety of folkloric dance groups … and plenty of cerveza, of course. And don’t miss the lively parade along Cozumel’s waterfront on September 16, filled with traditional music and dance.
- Travel Tip: In between the partying, see what’s happening under the waves. Occidental Cozumel is a highly recommended resort for scuba divers, offering convenient access to the Palancar Reef, one of the top five scuba destinations in the world. And once you’re done down there, enjoy all inclusive comfort, perfectly integrated in its natural surroundings of mangroves, white sand beaches and tropical gardens
What to Eat on Mexican Independence Day
As with other holidays, Mexican Independence Day always involves a wide variety of tasty food. One beloved dish is chiles en nogada. This meal is made from stuffed poblano peppers and smothered in a walnut sauce. Why is it so popular on Mexican Independence Day? That’s easy. Not only is it delicious, it also features the colors of the Mexican flag — red, white and green. Other common recipes used to celebrate this special day include traditional Mexican cuisine like tamales, Queso Fundido (extremely addictive Mexican fondue), Birria de Borrego (spiced and roasted Lamb), Pozole (hominy and pork soup), tacos and guacamole. Even if you’re not in Mexico for the big day, you can celebrate along with the country by trying out some of these signature dishes.
Experiencing Mexican Independence Day is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, filled with all kinds of unforgettable sights, sounds and flavors. Start planning your Barcelo getaway now.