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Mexican Independence Day
Flag of lights.

Cozumel is getting ready for Mexican Independence Day next Tuesday, September 16th.

The annual celebration marks the Grito de Dolores, a call for Mexicans to rise up against the Spanish, made by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810.

Hidalgo was parish priest in the town of Dolores, from where the Grito - or Cry - takes its name. It is sometimes mistranslated as 'The Cry of Pain'.

Hidalgo's words led to a massive rebellion and the Mexican War of Independence.

Later, in 1815, Hidalgo himself was captured and executed by the Spanish, but bands of rebels continued to fight and the Mexicans finally won victory in 1821.

Cozumel events
Mexican colors on public buildings.

Independence Day is now a major holiday in Mexico. The President starts celebrations by ringing an historic bell and reciting a version of the original Cry the night before.

On September 16, military parades, bullfights, rodeos and horseback rider performances take place in towns and cities across the whole Republic.