September 15th and 16th are very important days here in Mexico! The 16th is Mexico’s independence day and is of course a national holiday, but the party takes place the night before. The biggest celebration is in the center of the city, Centro Histórico, but we decided not to go to that because of soooo many people being there. Instead, we went to Coyoacán, where our friend Rebecca invited us and some of her friends from work to hang out at her place, which is right above the main square in that area and was therefore right in the middle of the action. There were two stages set up for live music and a huge television screen that was showing the party in Centro Histórico.
In order to get into the main area, Jeff and I had to go through a security checkpoint and the woman before was not allowed to pass through because she had an umbrella in her bag. However, I had TWO umbrellas and they let me through anyway! I’m not sure why, but I suspect they assumed I didn’t speak Spanish and it wasn’t worth trying to explain to me that I couldn’t have them! (Reason #1 why it can sometimes be good to be a gringo🙂 Anyway, it was a good thing that I had them because it rained a lot later on in the evening! We spent the first part of the night at Rebecca’s hanging out and as soon as we ventured outside, it started raining! We didn’t make it for long because it was raining hard was pretty chilly so we went back in again. We had planned to go out to the square around midnight, which was when we thought the grito was but it ended being earlier than we thought. The grito is when the president addresses the people from the balcony of the Palacio Nacional on the night of the 15th. It’s not really a speech, but just a few brief words celebrating the country. He then waves a flag and people go crazy. As it turns out, we could hear the grito from Rebecca’s apt. because we were so close to the main square. After it was over, we met some friends of hers at a restaurant and finished out the night there. We got home really late but had a great time!
Though the actual Día de Independencia is a holiday, we saw a lot of people out and about. We decided to go see our first movie here in Mexico and the theatre was really, really busy! We saw No Temas de la Obscuridad or in the U.S., Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, a new movie written by Mexican producer/writer/director Guillermo del Toro. It was kind of funny because the commercials before the movie were in Spanish but the previews and the movie itself were in English with Spanish subtitles. Hollywood is still the most popular here. We really liked the movie so if you like somewhat scary movies, we recommend it!