On September 16, 1810, in the small town of Dolores, in the province of Guanajuato in Mexico, a handful of people were summoned by a parish priest to take up arms against the Spanish colonial government. This began the fight for independence that ended 350 years of Spanish rule. To this day, the church bell that was used to call people to revolt hangs in the National Palace in Mexico City and is rung on the eve of September 16 by the President.
Recognizing the Festival/Holiday: Celebrated by people of Mexican origin throughout the world and in such places in the United States as East Los Angeles, Austin, and El Paso, this is a day when Mexican Americans often hang Mexican flags at their homes. In addition to parades and fairs, the day's festivities always involve traditional antojitos, most aptly described as a variety of finger foods, Mexican candies, and punch. Punch, ponche, is a drink made of fruits that are in season: guayabas, sugarcane, raisins, and apples. The music of mariachi bands is also common.