Starting in the small town of Dolores, on September 16, 1810, is an event that marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. This is the most important national holiday observed in Mexico. The “Grito” was the battle cry of the Mexican War of Independence by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest.
It took over a decade before independence was won from the Spanish but with a lot of courage and blood for country, the battle was finally theirs. To remember the day and the one who lead from the first day, Dolores took on the name of Hidalgo so that all can remember…today this town in central Mexico is called Dolores Hidalgo and we’ve made this our 2nd stop in our week’s travels. Each year on the night of September 15th just before midnight, the President of Mexico rings the bell of the National Palace in Mexico City. After the ringing of the bell, he repeats a cry of patriotism based upon the “Grito de Dolores”, with the names of the important heroes of the Mexican War of Independence and ending with the three fold shout of Viva Mexico ! from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in one of the largest public plazas in the world. With a crowd of half a million spectators shouting and waving flags, singing the national anthem, the event finds the beginning of a week’s celebration throughout the nation. Unfortunately we’re not here or in Mexico City for the ringing, but we are here in Dolores Hidalgo and able to see the church of Our Lady of Sorrows
and the historic city center and main square. The town is also known for its “talavera tile” factories and street vendors selling homemade ice cream. Across the street from the church sits the main plaza. On all four corners of the plaza (and some across the streets) you can find vendors selling the homemade ice cream and in front of all of them you will find a line of ice cream lovers.
Well all four of us felt we fell into that category so we jumped in line too. First they want you to find just the right flavor so to accomplish that, they offer you one tasting spoon after another until you find just the right taste for the day. They had so many flavors that we couldn’t identify and most tasted pretty good, but then they had many more that tasted sooo good we had trouble deciding. Finally with cone filled high we settled down on a park bench and licked as fast as we could before all that good sticky stuff settled over our hands. It wasn’t too long after that we got back in the car and started heading onto our next destination of Guanajuato. As I look back on Dolores Hidalgo I feel remiss that we didn’t take more time there and visit at least one of the ceramic factories. They produce about 75% of the ceramic ware of Mexico.
Yes, I know, I’m not a buyer but to watch how they do what they do to make some beautiful product is a disappointment.