Independence Day in Mexico

15 Sep

Tonight there will be a great “fiesta” throughout Mexico. Minutes before midnight the President of the nation, as well as all the governors and mayors around the country will go to their respective palaces, government offices and public plazas to participate in a ceremony replete with pomp and protocol that is performed each year on this date to commemorate one hundred and ninety-seven years of the battle for independence in Mexico.

The tradition initiates with the ringing of a bell to remind the citizens under their jurisdiction of similar tones that rang through the night almost two centuries ago from a church in Dolores Hidalgo declaring freedom from Spanish rule. Next, a list of names will be recited of those who were instrumental in the fight for independence, punctuating each name with the cry “Viva!” meaning “long live!” But the climax comes when each leader shouts in grand and glorious form: “Viva Mexico!” three times, to which the crowd responds in kind, “Viva!” All of this is followed with a rousing rendition of the national anthem and then a spectacular firework show. The mood is electric, national pride swells and the country is decorated in Mexican flags and the colors that represent all Mexicans–red, white and green.

Other festivities include the traditional parades, gatherings where those in attendance wear regional dress and enjoy typical dishes such as tamales, tacos and enchildadas, accompanied by lots of music with the rhythm and style that characterize the fabulous songs of Mexico.

During this solemn ceremony the leaders call out to their countrymen, “Long live the heroes who gave us our country!” As a nation, Mexico is indeed indebted to the likes of Miguel Hidalgo, Alvaro Obregon, Benito Juarez, Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez and others who risked life and limb so that Mexico could be a free and sovereign nation. As is so often quoted in the USA after 9/11, “freedom is not free.” Many pay the ultimate price so that others can live out the fruits of their sacrifice. In fact, here in Mexico, the call to independence that we celebrate tonight, recalls the beginning of 11 years of war that were required to finally attain the victory.

However, as followers of Jesus, every day is Independence Day! The price our Savior paid on the cross liberated us from sin, from death, from allegiance to the enemy of our souls and allowed us to enter into His Kingdom and have the promise of eternal life in His presence. To Him and Him alone we owe our freedom that crosses all borders, that covers all races, tongues and tribes and that unites us as one in Him.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

Viva Mexico!! Viva Jesus!!


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