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Posts Tagged ‘decorative lighting’

Overnight, as the calendar page turned from August to September, green, white, and red appeared around the city. The colors of the Mexican flag festooned buildings — both public and private and flags began flying from rooftops.

Papel picado hanging above Plazuela Labastida.

Vendor carts, selling all things patriotic, noisy, and green, white, and red, began appearing on busy street corners and green, white, and red lights were strung above major streets and in the zócalo. September is El Mes de Patria — an entire month of celebrating Mexico’s independence from Spain.

Kiosk in the zócalo.

September 16 is Día de la Independencia (Independence Day) marking Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s call to arms (Grito de Dolores) announcing the start of a ten-year long war for independence. However, all over Mexico, re-enactments “El Grito” (the Cry of Dolores) are staged at 11:00 PM on September 15 —  by mayors from municipal city halls, governors from state building balconies, and by the President of Mexico from the the National Palace. September 16 is marked with military parades.

Camera scaffolding in front of Oaxaca’s Government Palace.

As an article in yesterday’s El Imparcial proudly proclaimed, Oaxaqueños like Antonio de León, Carlos María Bustamante, José María Murguía y Galardi, and Manuel Sabino Crespo “contributed their sacrifice and courage to the creation of a free, sovereign and guaranteed homeland.” (my translation) By the way, for those who live in or have visited Oaxaca: Do those names ring a bell?

Señorita América on her way to sing the Himno Nacional (Mexican National Anthem) in the zócolo after the governor gives the Grito.

Last night’s Grito was the first given by Mexico’s new President, Andreas Manuel Lopez Obrador (aka, AMLO). The media pointed out that he gave 20 “Vivas” from the balcony of the Palacio Nacional, while his predecessor only gave 11. Among the added “Long live’s” were, “¡Vivan las comunidades indígenas!” and “¡Viva la grandeza cultural de México!”

Long live the independence! Long live Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla! Long live Morelos! Long live Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez! Long live Ignacio Allende! Long live Leona Vicar! Long live anonymous heroes! Long live the heroic people of Mexico! Long live the indigenous communities! Long live freedom! Long live justice! Long live democracy! Long live our sovereignty! Long live the universal fraternity! Long live peace! Long live the cultural greatness of Mexico! Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico! Long live Mexico!

And, there was more Oaxaca pride present in the nation’s capital as the Banda del Centro de Capacitación Musical y Desarrollo (CECAM), a youth band from the Mixe village of Santa María Tlahuitoltepec, Oaxaca, performed following the Grito.

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Early Wednesday evening, I walked down to the Palacio de Gobierno to see Dreamer, one of the Oaxaca FilmFest4 offerings.  It had been raining on and off all day and so, to lighten my load and make room for my umbrella, I left my camera at home.  Why would I need it?  I was just going to be sitting in a small dark theater.  Sheesh, was I mistaken!  It was twilight when I entered the Palace via the side door on Flores Magón, but we were directed to exit through the main front entrance — and I was blown away by the scene before me.  The rain-soaked zócalo glistened and glittered, awash with El Mes de la Patria green, white, and red lights.

Needless to say, last night when I returned to watch, Twenty Million People, I took my camera!

Government Palace lit with green, white, & red lights

Heroes of the independence movement, Hidalgo and Morelos in the spotlight as they gaze down from the Government Palace.  I always forget how beautiful the zócalo is at night!

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Today Día de la Constitución in Mexico is being observed.  It celebrates the promulgation of the Mexican Constitutions of February 5, 1857 and February 5, 1917.

According to the US Library of Congress website on the history of the Mexican Constitutions, the former “starts out by saying that all men are free and that by merely setting foot on Mexican soil one is set free” thus outlawing slavery many years before it was abolished in the U.S.  And, the latter “came with significant social reforms to labor laws, and provided for equality in treatment without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, social or political condition, among other reforms…. What is also more evident with the most recent Mexican constitutions is a deliberate movement toward secularism.”

Schools, banks, and some businesses are closed but, other than that, not much seems to be happening here in Oaxaca.  So, I will post photos I took a few days ago of the new color changing lights that now illuminate the palm trees along Calle Constitución in Oaxaca — the result of the previously mentioned massive decorative lighting project that began last October.

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Does that put you, In the Mood?

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