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Mexico’s Independence Day, affectionately known to nationals as “Grito de Dolores” or “The Cry of Dolores," takes place every year on September 16. The “grito” or “cry” referenced was made over 200 years ago near Guanajuato, Mexico by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest, who is rumored to have initiated the Mexican War for Independence from Spain. The battle started September of 1810 and lasted 10+ years. Like any great fight, it wasn’t a pleasant experience, but the people of Mexico turned what was once a day of remembrance into a cause for celebration. From a country once under foreign rule to a feigning superpower, if Mexico has shown us one thing, it’s never to count them out.

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Celebrate with Food

Traditional fare for the Mexican Independence Day celebration can be anything from specialty dishes to typical Mexican cuisine, some favorites being ponche, queso fundido, guacamole, and menudo. Ponche, a fruit punch, is made from guava and apple juices along with other other seasonal fruits, and can etiher be sipped as is or with the addition of vodka. Queso fundido is always a crowd pleaser being that it's essentially cheese fondue. You can make it with any kind of white Mexican cheese melted down with garlic, hot sauce and lime juice and serve with crispy corn or flour tortillas. Menudo is known all over Mexico for its rumored ability to cure hangovers, and after your fair share of ponche, it’s not a bad idea to whip up some stew just in case. You’ll need beef, garlic, tripe, onion, hominy and spices.

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Join the Party

Similar to the America's Independence Day celebrations, there are block parties and firework displays around Mexico. The government is super-involved, running reenactments of important points in the war, much like how Americans tend to remember the Civil War. Spectators descend upon the nation’s capital in Mexico City to participate in the festivities, but the whole country is decorated with the flag’s colors of red, green and white. It’s Mexico’s biggest party and the best way to end summer. Street fairs and family gatherings mean the beaches are packed with people soaking in the rays and tossing one back. The pride is so apparent and people are so hyped a lot of the celebrations begin at midnight on the 15th because communities can't stand to wait any longer. That's what we call a fiesta worth seeing.