The fiestas patrias
are the Mexican
that originated in the 19th century
In chronological holiday order:
- Día de la Constitución commemorates the Constitution of 1917, promulgated after the Mexican Civil War on February 5.
- Natalicio de Benito Juárez commemorates President Benito Juarez's birthday on March 21, 1804. Juarez is popularily regarded as an exemplary politician due to his liberal policies that, among other things, defined the traditionally strict separation of the church and the Mexican state.
- Día del Trabajo (Labor Day) commemorates the Mexican workers' union movements on May 1. Specifically, the 1906 Cananea, Sonora and the 1907 Río Blanco, Veracruz labor unrest and repression.
- Cinco de mayo commemorates General Ignacio Zaragoza's victory on May 5, 1862, over the French expeditionary forces in the Battle of Puebla.
- Dieciséis de septiembre commemorates Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla's Grito de Dolores —"cry of Dolores", "Dolores" also means "sorrow", and it comes from the Virgin of Dolores, the village's patron— on September 16, 1810, at the village of Dolores, near Guanajuato. Hidalgo called for the end of Spanish rule in Mexico. On September 16, 1825, the Republic of Mexico officially declared Dieciséis de septiembre its national Independence Day.
- Día de la Revolución commemorates the Mexican Revolution which started on November 20, 1910 when Francisco I. Madero planned an uprising against dictator Porfirio Díaz's three-decade iron rule.
Contrary to popular wisdom in the United States, Cinco de mayo
considered the most important national holiday in Mexico. That distinction is reserved for Dieciséis de septiembre
, which is celebrated from the eve of September 15
with a re-creation of the Grito de Dolores
at all executive government branch offices' courts (from the President down to the municipal governments) and lasts through the night. In contrast, Cinco de mayo
is observed as a notable date, but it is not considered more or less important than the other holidays excepting Dieciséis de septiembre
, the name fiestas patrias
is reserved for the holidays of September 18
(dieciocho de septiembre
, or simply el dieciocho
), Independence day and September 19
, Glories of the Army.