On September 16, 1810, a noble Mexican priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang his church bell and issued the “Cry of Dolores”, a call to start an uprising against Spanish colonial rule. This cry inspired local farmers who were armed with machetes and sticks into rising up against Spanish rule. This set off Mexico’s bloody “War of Independence” against Spain. Hidalgo was executed by firing squad on July 31, 1811. The war lasted from 1810 until September 27, 1821, Mexico finally achieved independence from Spain. September 16 is now celebrated as Mexico’s Independence Day.
The day is marked by a military parade in the capital city of Mexico City, as well as church bells being rung throughout the country. The holiday is celebrated with fireworks and parties, as well as parades throughout Mexico and abroad.
In addition the government holds an event at the National Palace and the Zocalo (main square) where he gives his own version of the “Cry of Dolores” which includes paying homage to the founders of the nation and ends with him saying “Viva Mexico” (long live Mexico) and he rings a bell.
Independence Day Banknotes & Coins
Mexico 1,000 Pesos Banknote, 2013. Its obverse side features a portrait of Priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a church bell, the three towers of the Dolores Hidalgo church, and the map of Mexico as the registration device. The reverse side features the bank seal, the map of Mexico, a frog, and the University of Guanajuato buildings.
Mexico 5 Pesos Coin, 2010. This coin is part of the Bicentenary of Independence series, a series of commemorative coins issued by the Bank of Mexico to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mexican War of Independence. This coin highlights Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the leader of the Mexican War of Independence and the Father of the Nation of Mexico. His bust is seen on one side of the coin. The other side of the coin shows the national arms of Mexico.
Mexico 10,000 Pesos, 1978. This banknote features a portrait of former 19th century Mexican diplomat, Matías Romero who served as ambassador to the US and also served as secretary of finance.
On the reverse side of the banknote is an image of the Mexican national palace and the main square more commonly known as the Zocalo. This is where the yearly independence day celebrations are held and the president give the honorary “Cry of Dolores” speech.
Mexico 20 Pesos Banknote, 2022. This banknote was issued to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Independence. On the obverses is an image of the Army of 3 guarantees entering the gates of Mexico City on September 27, 1821 to consummate independence after 10 years of initial fighting against the Spanish Empire. The day after this event, the declaration of independence is signed. In addition there is images of the old flag and the new one. The reverse side features images of Mexico’s diverse ecosystem. There is an image of a Mexican crocodile and also the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, in the state of Quintana Roo.
Mexico 1 Peso Banknote, 1970. The famous Angel of Independence in Mexico City was built in 1910 to commemorate 100 years since the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence (1810). On its obverse is the Aztec calendar. The reverse displays the bank seal and the Independence Monument with an angel a top in Mexico City which has become a tourist attraction and iconic symbol of the Mexican capital.