National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15.
It begins on September 15 which is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. September 16 is another momentous day in Mexico: El Dies y Seis de Septiembre which is literally translated as the 16th of September, commonly referred to as Mexican Independence Day. Today, on Mexican Independence Day, we’re highlighting a bit of the history and its importance to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
If you’ve ever wondered why Texas always goes big to celebrate Diez y Seis de Septiembre each year, there’s a reason why. And it’s not because we love margaritas and tacos. Before Texas was Texas, the Lone Star State was part of the Spanish empire. The colony, called New Spain, spanned present-day Mexico to California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, and parts of Oklahoma and Cuba. Anthony Quiroz, a history professor at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, who specializes in Mexican-American studies, said over the course of 300 years, the people of New Spain were in search of Independence.
“In 1810, the creolles, people who were born in the New World but were full-blooded Spanish, felt oppressed and developed an entirely new identity,” he said.
Quiroz said one member of the creolles, a priest known as Father Miguel Hidalgo y Castilla, took a stand against Spain with the “grito de Delores,” a cry for revolution. And after 11 years, Mexico became independent in 1821. The history professor said for Mexico, Dieciseis de Septiembre is the country’s Independence Day just like the United States has Fourth of July. He said the reason why Texas celebrates holidays such as Diez y Seis de Septiembre and other cultural events is because of Texas’ very rich history.
“We were a part of Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas and we are a part of the United States. Celebrating the Mexican-American culture is a part of the Texas experience.”
So today, on Diez y Seis de Septiembre, we kick-off our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month which spans until Oct. 15.
Brought to you by Family Eldercare’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. You can read the original article we summarized here.
Events and Exhibits happening in our area:
The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center’s Viva Mexico celebration
Mexic-Arte Museum Histories of Transformation and other exhibitions
University of Texas events and exhibitions
List: How to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Austin from KVUE