Mexicans are very proud of their country. They have the same intense patriotism as we do in the USA. The beginning of September the stands go up selling every conceivable thing in red, white and green in preparation for all the festivities. Construction sites, homes, cars, buses, you name it, are adorned with a flag!
The BIG event to "kick off" all of the events is on the 15th when the Governor, or some important official, stands on a balcony in the jardine and recites the Grito de Independencia. People from this area are very, very proud that the movement for independence began here and then moved to Delores Hidalgo and then on to Guanajuato.
There are lots and lots of fireworks that follow from then on til the end of the month.
At the end of the month, many indigenous Indians come into town for several parades in native costumes and headdresses that are breathtaking. I'll find those pictures in the next few days (I must have 12 rolls or more of film) and share them with you. They carry into town Xuchiles which are HUGE banners covered with flowers and cornhusks that are held on with orchid paste. They are so big it takes six to ten men to carry these banners on wood. Once they reach the jardine they are stood up along the fence of the Parroquia which is the large church in centro. Some of these Xuchiles are two stories high so you can imagine the weight of it all.
Oh, and the Indians from Papantla come to swing off a pole that is probably 6 - 8 stories high. They are called Voladores. It is a very ancient ceremony that they have with a man playing a flute standing on a platform about 8/12 x 11 " in size! The men then swing down, upside down in thirteen revolutions. All of it is very symbolic and very mystical. I have seen this ceremony held at the pyramids at El Tajin and it gave you chills it is so beautiful.
The Indian dances go on for three days. I feel privileged to observe these ceremonies.