LONG LIVE MEXICO!date_range 16 September, 2020 question_answer Leave your thoughts
Of all the beautiful and symbolic traditions of Mexico, there is one that stands out above all others due to its history, importance and the passion it arouses. It is the ‘Grito de Independencia’ (Cry for Independence), which is celebrated on the eve of 16 September to commemorate the independence of Mexico. The green, white and red of the Mexican flag are proudly displayed on this day and the country’s traditions are enjoyed to the full.
What is ‘El Grito’ all about?
It was in the early hours of the morning between 15 and 16 September 1810 that the priest Miguel Hidalgo called on all of the Mexican community living in Dolores (now known as Dolores Hidalgo, in Guanajuato) to take up arms. Hidalgo’s speech went on to become a motivating force for all Mexican people, resulting in the ‘Grito de Dolores’ (an alternative name given to it) being remembered as the beginning of the Mexican independence movement.
Since then, ‘El Grito’ is remembered and commemorated every year throughout all of the country’s states. Each one has its own peculiarities, but all of them do it by establishing “Fiestas Patrias” (National Holidays), which feature fairground rides, typical dishes, musical groups and folklore performances.
How does RIU celebrate ‘El Grito’?
Mexico is RIU’s biggest international destination with a total of 20 hotels. That is why we proudly say that now and forever more, a significant part of RIU is Mexican. In the 14 hotels that we currently have open in the country (in Quintana Roo, Nayarit, Los Cabos, Mazatlán, Guadalajara and Los Cabos), ‘El Grito’ was celebrated in style.
We set up themed buffets in all of them, involving not only from a gastronomic perspective, with the very best of our restaurants’ Mexican cuisine, but also the visual aspect. The colours of the national flag took pride of place on the tables, the buffet stations and the general decor as you can see in this picture taken at the Riu Playacar.
Some of our hotels, such as the Riu Palace Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen, provided a special cocktail party with a tasting session for guests involving different flavours of tequila; in Nayarit, our colleagues at the Riu Vallarta organised, amongst many other activities, a beach party with a local band for entertainment, Mexican decoration and local specialities including ceviches and the typical fish dish ‘pescado zarandeado’.
The RiuLand kiddies’ clubs in all our hotels were also specially prepared for the occasion, providing traditional Mexican children’s games for RIU’s younger guests. Handicrafts, candy-filled ‘Piñatas’ to break open, games…everything planned and designed for their enjoyment.
A classic on such an important day as this, and a typical Mexican tradition, is to have a mariachi group perform live in our hotels. With their joyful melodies and passion-charged lyrics, they accompanied our all our guests on the eve of 16 September such as at the Riu Cancun.
There is no doubt that one of the most memorable moments for everybody was tuning into the broadcast from the National Palace in Mexico City from our theatre. All of our Mexican guests watched live coverage of the President of the Republic reciting ‘el grito’ and heard the tolling of the bell from Dolores, which was moved to the National Palace at the end of the 19th century. It was at that moment, just like every year and in every corner of the country, everyone rose up with one voice to shout out in unison and with passion and pride “Long Live Mexico”!