Commemoration of the Grito de Dolores

Hidalgogrito Commemoration of the Grito de Dolores

September 15

by Dorothy Bell / Photos by Bill Bell

Mural by Jose Orozco in the palace of the Governor in Guadalajara

This day celebrates the beginning of the Struggle for Independence from Spain

Grito de Dolores

Nobel laureate, Diplomat Octavio Paz

“Each year on the fifteenth of September, at eleven o’ clock at night, we celebrate the fiesta of the Grito in all the plazas in the Republic, and the excited crowds actually shout for a whole hour… the better, perhaps, to remain silent for the rest of the year. All of our anxious tensions express themselves in a phrase we use when anger, joy or enthusiasm cause us to exalt our constitution as Mexicans: Viva Mexico!”

 “The war began as a protest against the abuses of the metropolis and the Spanish bureaucracy, but it was also, and primarily, a protest against the great native landholders.”

Historical Context

The Grito de Delores – the cry of Delores – was originally given by Father Miguel Hidalgo in the town of Delores Guanajuato the morning of September 16th. He rang the church bell to gather the people of the town. On the steps of the church, with a banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Hidalgo gave a rousing sermon that enraged the crowd of  parishioners.

Hidalgogrito2Statue of Father Hidalgo breaking the chains of Slavery in Guadalajara Jalisco

” Viva la Independencia!, Viva la Virgin de Guadalupe!, Death to bad government!”


Statue of Hidalgo with the banner of Guadalupe

in front of the historic church in Delores

With this cry, the struggle for Independence began. Hidalgo with his soldier-less army of farmers and townsmen began the march to San Miguel and symbolically to Independence from Spain. This struggle was a class struggle against the Spanish who enslaved the native population and tied the hands through taxation and trade barriers with the merchant class.

Hidalgo, considered the Abraham Lincoln of Mexico, rejected slavery of the native population. He died nearly a year after he gave the cry and was shot and decapitated.

Celebrations Today

Hidalgogrito4Today it is tradition for the president of the country to deliver “the Grito” in Mexico City on the balcony at the Presidential Palace. 

The Presidential Palace balcony in Mexico City

The President reads the speech and rings the bell – the very bell that Hidalgo rang over 200 years ago. This celebration is repeated by city presidents and ejido leaders throughout the county in town squares and plazas

Current Version of the Cry


Long Live the Heroes that gave us our Fatherland!

Long Live Hidalgo!

Long Live Morelos!

Long Live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez!

Long Live Allende!

Long Live Aldama and Matamoros!

Long Live National Independence!

Long Live the Independence Bicentennial!

Long Love the Centennial of the Revolution!

Long Live Mexico!

Long Live Mexico!

Long Live Mexico!


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