Art Murmur: Mexican Independence Day

Colorguards dressed in traditional Mexican costumes give the Mexican flag to the consulate. Photo by Alec Damiano.

Red, white and green fabric flaps in the air as mariachi trumpets blare and violins sing. Limes cry as their sour tears are squished into your cerveza (beer).

Every year, Americans don sombreros using “Mexican Independence Day” as an excuse to party. It happens every May 5.

The thing is, Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexican Independence Day — September 16 is.

Sunday morning marked the 202nd anniversary of when Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo let out El Grito de la Independencia (literally, “the yell of independence”), urging his people to revolt against the Spanish colonial government in power.

The Mexican president commemorates this event every September 15 at midnight by leading “el grito”—a synchronized rallying cry honoring the memory of the revolutionaries—and has done so since 1910.

Several Valley locations held Fiestas Patrias (national holiday) celebrations this weekend.

I spent Saturday afternoon at the Fiesta Mall in Mesa, where a variety of Mexican art forms were showcased. Folkloric dancers twirled their colorful, elaborate skirts to traditional music, and a mariachi group performed a variety of songs.

A miniature “el grito” ceremony took place as well. For several hours until midnight, staff members gave out free Mexican flags and handouts with the lyrics to the Mexican national anthem printed on them.

October marks Hispanic Heritage Month, and a variety events will be held to celebrate as well.

The 13th Annual Chandler C3HR Mariachi Festival, which was announced at the Fiesta Mall celebration will be held Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Chandler Center for the Arts.

Featured performers will include: Mariachi Pajarillo, Mariachi Flores Mexicanas, Chandler’s Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli, Ballet Folklorico Esperanza, and Tradiciones Dance Co.

Tickets range from $20-$50. For the CCA event calendar, click here.

The Fiesta Mall also holds Serenata Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. where Mexican groups such as Mariachi Valle del Sol and singer Beatriz Montes perform.


Do you know of any interesting art or entertainment you’d like me to cover? Tweet me at @DamianoAlec or email me at To see some of my artwork, click here.

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