ONE OF THE established rituals of Mexico’s remembrance of her fight for independence is the Grito or “Cry of Independence”. Around eleven o’clock in the evening on the night of September 15th, the President of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace on the Zócalo square in the center of Mexico City. The head of state hails the names of the leaders of the country’s independence struggle before shouting a threefold ¡Viva Mexico! Then, as the crowd in the plaza below goes wild, the President rings the bell again, waves the Mexican flag for all to see, and the national anthem is sung:
Gird, oh Fatherland, your brow with olive
by the divine archangel of peace,
for in heaven your eternal destiny
was written by the finger of God!
The whole thing has a strange buoyant solemnity about it, a splendid civic ritual set in the baroque surrounds of the old palace — it almost reminds one of the joyous Habemus papam from the balcony of St. Peter’s after the election of a pontiff.
RT has a clip of the Grito with some nice footage of the fireworks following; I especially like the Column with the Angel of Independence alight with fireworks. Below is a view Grito from the plaza below.