September was usually a bit of a bummer for most of us growing up in the US. For me, it meant I had to go back to school and the weather got colder. In Mexico the children have to go back to school right along with the kids in North America, but there is much to celebrate during this month.
While I usually write my blogs from Saltillo, I'm currently typing away in a hotel room in the central district of Mexico City, or Distrito Federal (or DF). I expected to encounter warm weather, as this megacity (rated number two in population world-wide, second only to Shanghai) is well south of the Tropic of Cancer. However, I'm glad I brought long pants and a rain coat; the Summer-time is the rainy season (hurricane season) for most of Mexico. It's been cloudy and in the 60s with rain here in DF.
Even with rain, the show must go on; out-door celebration is the way of life in Mexico. And in September the whole Mexican Republic is embroidered in the red, green and white of Mexico's flag to celebrate the country's independence from Spain.
There are daily demonstrations here in the Republic's capital. There are outdoor carnivals and feasts commemorating saints and churches in little towns all over Mexico. Mexico seceded from Spain in 1810, 34 years and two months after the USA's declaration of independence was written. However, before the war for independence, Spain had begun settling the Americas in the 1490s, led by the famous navigator Christopher Columbus.
The city where I'm sleeping tonight was founded in 1325. It was called Tenochtitlan; the center of the Aztec Empire. The Aztecs, while separated from the intellectual and technological wonders of the old world, rivaled the greatness of the Roman Empire. In 1521, the great Aztecs were toppled by the Spanish conquerors. The French also invaded Mexico in the 1800s, and spread their influence in the process.
This mishmash of culture leaves a country that is not only full of various celebrations and foreign philosophy, it's also quite a bit warmer than what we North Americans are accustomed to, climate wise.
If you're planning to take a post-summer vacation down Mexico way, you can expect to see the Mexican colors, crest and flag all over the place, as September is the month of Mexican patriotism. The precipice for the independence celebration takes place at 10:30 p.m. on September 15th; however the festive decor stays up for the entire month.
Captions: These three monuments bear the names of some of Mexico's heroes of the Independence from Spain during the early 1800s. Located within Mexico City's Bosque de Chapuletepec central park. As it's September, the month of independence, the monuments are decorated with tri-color wreaths made from flowers.
El Ángel de la Independencia, also known as El Ángel, is officially called the Monumento a la Independencia, is shown here in full decor the night before the Mexican independence celebration.