Some individuals assume Cinco de Mayo or the fifth of May is Cozumel’s Independence Day, but Mexico proclaims its sovereignty from Spanish control on September 16. This is one of the most remarkable days of the year in Mexico. For weeks leading up to September 16, merchants make their way through Mexico’s municipalities and cities selling flags, horns, face paint, headgears, noisemakers, pinwheels, and many diverse elements for the celebration, all in Mexico’s colors; red, green and white. Government buildings in the central plaza are brightly decorated in anticipation of the popular fiesta.
On September 15 at precisely 11:00 p.m., the entire country reenacts the call to battle for the liberty of Miguel Hidalgo, the priest that headed the independence movement in 1810. The largest celebration in the entire country is held at El Zócalo in Mexico City, where over 150,000 individuals assemble to proclaim the independence of their Querido México by calling out “Viva México!” in unison, however, all cities and towns across the country hold their own celebration, including Cozumel.
As with all Mexican ceremonies, music, dancing, food, and drink are very important on the 15th and 16th of September. Dancers in distinctive costumes spin to the joyful melodies of Mariachis. They serve Mexican dishes like pozole and chiles en nogada. For dessert, obleas or churros are prepared. Of course, tequila always circulates effortlessly.
The celebration traverses the entire month of September, Patriot Month. September is an excellent occasion to visit Cozumel and join the Mexican Independence Day fiesta.