You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Zocalo’ tag.

Fun times in Mexico City this week! On Tuesday night, we celebrated Dia de la Independencia (Mexican Independence Day) in the Zocalo, Mexico City’s main square since the Aztec empire.

Mexican capitalism...I mean pride....at it's finest

Mexican capitalism...I mean pride....at it's finest

We were fortunate to get “front row seats” to the party- that is, a standing spot in the rain partitioned a little bit from the main crowd closer to the Palacio Nacional, because one of Alex’s good friends works at the President’s office. I love living in Capital cities and having friends in the government. Sweet hookups abound! So we all met at Los Pinos, the Mexican “White House”, and rode an official bus down to the Zocalo. Fun times!

Alex in front of Los Pinos

Alex in front of Los Pinos

Our "VIP" passes...100% proud to be Mexican! Tee hee!

Our "VIP" passes...100% proud to be Mexican! Tee hee!

Can somebody explain to me why Mexico City has sailors guarding the President's house?

Can somebody explain to me why Mexico City has sailors guarding the President's house?

When we arrived, it had already started to rain.  But even though it was around 6pm, the Zocalo was already roaring with live entertainment and swarms of people flooding toward the action. Think Times Square on New Years Eve proportions, but let me tell you this right now: the Mexicans know how to throw a party. Everything was in epic proportions! And, because the Bicentennial is 2010, this was the pre-Bicentennial party, so they did it up BIG. I can only imagine what the party will be like next year! It was pouring 100_1501for around 5 hours straight, but that didn’t stop patriotic Mexican crowds decked out in Red, white and green (it looked like Christmas had exploded all over the place) to flock to the square by the thousands several hours early to secure a place, see the enormous stage where groups of 40+ mariachis and famous singers from all over Mexico were performing, see the absolutely INCREDIBLE laser show in front of the palace, sing anthems, and wait for the Grito!

View from the bus: a rainy day indeed!

View from the bus: a rainy day indeed!

It aint a party without the foam!

It aint a party without the foam!

100_1484

Swarming crowds, despite the rain

The National Cathedral looked like it belonged in Vegas

The National Cathedral looked like it belonged in Vegas

Pimp my Zocalo

Pimp my Zocalo

Stage with Cathedral backdrop

Stage with Cathedral backdrop

Pre-bicentennial decorations

Pre-bicentennial decorations

The stage

The stage

Palacio Nacional

Palacio Nacional

Let me tell you about this laser show. They set up a thin fountain of water in front of the Palacio Nacional to act as a wall to project images for the laser show. In addition, they used special lighting effects to trasform the face of the Palace into various forms: antique, black and white, covered in vines, covered in words, undersea, covered in Day of the Dead skeletons (my favorite), and illusions that pieces of the palace were moving in 3D. I wish I could do it justice in the pictures, but being that I have the world’s crappiest camera, there was a torrential downpour and it was night, well, you get it.

Here’s a clip of one of my favorite moments in the show:

Although the real holiday is September 16, (Wednesday) the main event in Mexico is el Grito de Dolores, which happens midnight of the 16th (or in this case 11pm due to torrential downpour) where thousands gather in the Zocalo in front of the National Palace to hear the President ring the same historic bell Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang on September 16th, 1810, and cry the same words shouted just before midnight to declare war on Spain. Although the original cry was uttered from the small town of Dolores, in the nearby state of Guanajuato, the original bell now hangs from the Palacio National in the Zocalo.

Please excuse the amateur videography. But this is my footage of the moment itself:

After el grito, the crowd disperses, and heads off to various celebrations City-wide, powered by plant-based beverages into the wee hours of the morning. The rest of our evening involved getting lost trying to find the bus and eventually boarding it, returning home, and defrosting our socks. Wild times. But I must say, totally worth it, a truly once in a lifetime opportunity.

The next day, we joined the rest of the bleary-eyed citizens of Mexico City for a bowl of birria, spicy meat soup, for “breakfast” (approximate time: 2pm). I can say that although the soup is a traditional hangover recipe, it tasted quite good even after a sober night! The music was loud, and many fellow patrons, hiding behind their sunglasses, ordered another round and fortified with spicy beef. Viva Mexico!

Perfect morning-after food: Birria and (for the strong willed) beer.

Perfect morning-after food: Birria and (for the strong willed) beer.

Bleary-eyed customers

Bleary-eyed customers

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Vivia la independencia! Viva Mexico!

Advertisements