16th September is Mexican Independence Day and is grandly celebrated throughout the country.
Mexicans everywhere pack into town plazas on the night of Sept. 15 to join in the 'grito', and then spend Sept. 16 celebrating independence. The traditional "grito" is a late-night cry for independence that re-creates the 1810 gesture by Mexican hero Miguel Hidalgo, which launched Mexico's rebellion against Spanish rule.
Of course, in Mexico City and many other cities and towns in the country, there are grand celebrations and parades. Since September is the height of the hurricane season in tiny Los Barriles, and most of the Gringos are up north in Los Estados Unitos, there is not a lot of visible celebration here. In La Paz, 90 minutes drive to the north, being the capital of Baja California Sur, they hold celebrations. Information can be obtained from many websites; I have noted one currently good one below.
Usuallly in Mexico City, (but recently elsewhere) the President (currently Felipe Calderon) recreates the call for freedom using the original bell that was tolled by Miguel Hidalgo and is now at the Government Palace at the Zocalo, Mexico. Hidalgo was 57 yrs old and the parish priest of the small, poor, mostly Indian village of Dolores, where he raised the call to revolt. He is highly loved and respected as a symbol of Mexico. There was a strong division of casts in Mexico back then being the Spaniards on the higher rank, followed by criollos, Spaniards born in Mexico who did not have te same rights, followed by mestizos who were half Spaniard half Mexican. Mexican Indians and slaves brought from Africa were considered at the lowest rank. The emotional wounds of a country that was once conquered have not healed completely, to be called an Indian is considered an insult, theres' a mocking rejection to the beautiful Indian features, even though many deny this fact, there's a strange fascination for blond hair and white skins. It's good to remember the Indians thought of the Spaniards as Gods because of their physical appearance.
Hidalgo and some of his soldiers were captured in the state of Jalisco, in the region known as "Los Altos". He faced a court trial of the Inquisition and was found guilty of treason. He was executed by firing squad in Chihuahua, on 30 July 1811. His body was mutilated, and his head was displayed in Guanajuato as a warning to Mexican rebels.[
The war spanned 11 years and took 600,000 lives......
Halloween is NOT celebrated, but 2 days to celebrate the lives of departed beloved are celebrated on 1st November (for the departed children), and 2nd of November (for adults). The people buy or make special foods, particularly sweets, to take to the cemetery and spend awhile talking to their ancestors, as well as cleaning up the area and decorating with both fresh and plastic flowers. Therefore, at this time of the year, all Mexican cemeteries as well as monuments along the roads where people have lost their lives, are very highly decorated, until degraded by the winds, sun and rain.