Guanajuato was at the top of my list of places to go in Mexico, and this weekend I got to see it! My photos don’t even come close to doing justice to this amazing city – I’d heard it was one of the prettiest in Mexico, but I’m certain it’s one of the prettiest in the world.
As well as Guanajuato I went to Morelia, San Miguel de Allende and Queretaro to celebrate Mexican Independence Day (September 16th). The highlight of this day is “El Grito (de Dolores)”; again, it’s hard to put across what exactly goes on, but I’ll do my best.
Hundreds, probably thousands of people are gathered wherever they choose to gather, in San Miguel de Allende we were out in the square in the centre of town. There are Mexican flags flying wherever you look. Towering above the crowd are interesting sculptures; it’s not immediately obvious what they are or what they’re made of but we’ll soon find out…
Then for “el grito”. El Grito was first uttered in the town of Dolores on September 16th, 1810 by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, marking the beginning of the war of independence. Last weekend, in towns all over the country, El Grito was recited over a loud speaker, with the crowd responding to each line with, “Viva(n)!”
¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron la patria y libertad!
¡Viva Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez!
¡Viva Galeana y los Bravo!
¡Viva Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la Independencia Nacional!
…Followed by fireworks. A lot of fireworks. That’s what the sculptures in the crowd are made of (it was quite scary when they were lit!) It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Just amazing.