El Grito de Dolores: ReMEX'd

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Even if no one can recall exacto the words spoken at the famous speech by Father Hidalgo on September 16th, 1810, El Grito de Dolores is still celebrated 102 years later as the battle cry that launched the Mexican War of Independence.

Basically, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a 57-year old priest from an old family of criollos rallied the people from his parish to “rise up” Spanish colonists who had been occupying Mexico for the last 300 years. He also referred to the Spaniards as “gachupines” during this speech and, within a month, he had been joined by more than fifty thousand men, mainly Indians from the poorest levels of society. Nice numbers Padre Hidalgo, touché.

Although El Grito was a success in rallying a movement to throw the Spanish out, the French came in just 4o years later and tried to awkwardly start a second colonial epoch…but that’s a story for another time.  For now le’ts focus on the matter at hand: where and how to do El Grito. If you can count the Mexican people in your life on only one hand, or if you don’t want to be a pinche ignorante, listen up.

First up, how to do El Grito.

At 11 p.m., everyone from El Presidente de La República to us at RE (probably already tipsy), will happily shout the following after ringing the most readily available campana:

¡Vivan los héroes que nos dieron patria!
¡Víva Hidalgo!
¡Viva Morelos!
¡Viva Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez!
¡Viva Allende!
¡Viva Aldama y Matamoros!
¡Viva la independencia nacional!
¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!

But ¡¿dónde?!


You could safely just run across Midtown doing your grito, as loud patriotism (of any nationality) is a common courtesy in the city. If you want to get a little classier about it, the Mexican Consulate will be hosting  a Grito celebration at La Boom. To continue la bebedera into late hours, head to Fontana, or Public Assembly‘s IndepenDANCE party. If El Grito‘s got too many names for you to remember, you can always adapt it to modern standards such  Vicente Fox and mariachi-electro sounds:

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Although Chicago will be hosting two Independence Day parades, start the weekend by getting together with some adventurous souls to do El Grito at Millenium Park. I have a good one, what if everyone decided to conglomerate around Cloud Gate, aka, El Gran Frijól Plateado, and do their Grito? But perhaps you’re not the kind to like being the center of attention at these public spaces, in which case we recommend you head over to El Grito Comedy Jam at Joe’s Pub for some laughs instead. Preferably, if you can be as adorable as this, you won’t have to do anything else for the day:

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Want to mirror Hidalgo in a XXIst century way for your Grito? Try doing it somewhere in front or inside of Hialeah’s Biblioteca Católica Santa Bárbara, see what happens. Just kidding! Happy Hour at Dolores or Lolita (pun intended) will surely help you start off your night well. And following up last year’s celebration, Kukaramakara will host a party that includes, among other things, a free tequila shot for everyone who arrives between 9-10, just in time for the 11PM grito. If you really want to get experimental with your Grito, and that’s cool yo, how about:

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Score with the crowds and celebrate El Grito either atPlaza Mexico, or City Hall. If you’re really feeling like going against the current, you could always crash a Cumbia Cruise with your amigos and teach a few Cumbieros (is that a word?) how to scream. Come to think of it, you don’t need to say much, in your scream that is. Just make sure you do like this one and clear out your throat before belting:

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The most logical procedure if you’re in SF? Duh, go do Grito at Dolores Park (formerly Mission Park); it’s like, named after Father Hidalgo, literally. For a place that will get you an audience, go to Carlos Club, which is most likely to have live music playing, other than you screaming. Or perhaps, if you get too sidetracked this September 15th, or just for laugh’s sake, you can try and be very literal about it, say poppin’ up infront of a Hospital and performing like un huevón:

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