Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Revolution

Like most things in Mexico's history The Revolution of 1910 is a bit confusing. Sometimes it is confused with the War of Independence from Spain which started 100 years earlier in 1810. But the 1910 Revolution can be confusing all on its own. It started out as an uprising led by Francisco I. Madero against Porfirio Diaz. There were different factions (liberal, anarchist, populist and agrarianist) that at times seemed to lead the revolution so that over time the revolution became a multi-sided civil war. Although battles continued into the 1920s, the Mexican Constitution was finalized in 1917.
Are you beginning to get the idea that pinning down a "date" to celebrate this important event in Mexican history might be a little difficult. The date has been accepted as November 20. But this year the national government caused some more confusion. They declared that from now on, the national holiday would be the third Monday in November thereby creating a long weekend.

So last Monday the banks and schools were closed. We didn't have garbage pickup but we can't be sure that was related to the holiday or just because we never know anymore if or when our garbage will be picked up. We thought it kind of strange that we didn't hear any fireworks or drums and noise from parades. We shouldn't have worried about the patriotism of our town because Friday, November 20 was the day it celebrated with a long parade of color guards, marching military and thousands of school kids with their drum and bugle corps.

Every school had some performance to display in each block of the parade....flash cards, waving banners, acrobatics, pom-pom dances, or more. Hey, let the national government declare whatever they want for a holiday but San Miguel is going to do their celebration on the "right" day.

One thing that was absent that surprised me was that we did not hear any fireworks. Not on the government declared holiday on Monday or on November 20th. I'm wondering if it had something to do with the city government being broke. If you are having trouble paying the garbage men and replacing street lights, I guess you don't have money for fireworks either.

I just wonder....next year on the 100th anniversary of the revolution, will the celebration be the third Monday of November or November 20th. Here in San Miguel, I'm putting my money on November 20th.

4 comments:

Bob Mrotek said...

Billie,
The last centennial year celebration ended with a "bang" that turned out to be the so called "Revolution". I am hoping that 2010 doesn't end the same way and if there are no "fireworks" at all that might be a good thing. I remember that in July of 2000 I holed myself up in my apartment with plenty of food and water not knowing what to expect if the PAN Party won the election. When President Zedillo of the PRI appeared on TV and conceded the election and congratulated Vicente Fox I gave a sigh of relief :)

Billie said...

The election of 2000 was indeed historic but I'm not sure how many Mexicans see it that way. If I had been living here in July 2000, I might have done just what you did.

el jubilado said...

Same in Jocotepec - hey they just added another holiday to the few hundred existing.

The only two businesses I went looking for Monday were closed. Friday they were open but all of downtown was closed for the parade

Dr Zibbs said...

Looks like fun.