Mexico - Independence Day September 16th Miguel Hidalgo was born in the ranch of San Vicente in the district of Guanajuato on May 8, 1753. He studied in the city of Valladolid, the present Morelia, and was ordained priest in 1778. He occupied the chair of theology and was later named rector of the College of San Nicholas, and finally appointed parish priest of Dolores in the state of Guanajuato. The town is now known as Dolores Hidalgo. Every morning Miguel Hidalgo would ring the bell in his church. The people of his parish were used to hearing the bell. But on the morning of September 16, 1810, they heard something unusual. As Father Hidalgo rang the bell that morning he shouted, “Viva la Independencia! Viva Mexico!” Father Hidalgo’s cry for Mexican Independence started a long fight for freedom from Spain. His words (called El Grito de Dolores) spread all over Mexico. He tried to lead a Mexican war for independence. But in 1811 he was captured by the Spanish and executed in Chihuahua on July 30th of that year as a traitor. Today, Miguel Hidalgo is remembered as the Father of Mexican Independence. The Mexican people celebrate his famous shout on September 16th as Mexican Independence Day. Every year the President of Mexico rings the very same bell that Father Hidalgo rang in 1810, and repeats El Grito de Dolores. To show pride in their country on Independence Day, Mexicans fly the flag and sing the national anthem. In each city and town, crowds gather in the town-square. Flags and wreaths of flowers drape the buildings. Confetti and paper streamers fly everywhere. Independence Day Rattler Supplies: Aluminum soda can Glitter Tempera paint (any color) Handful of small rocks Masking tape Make sure the aluminum soda can is clean and dry. Paint the can in color of your choice. While paint is still wet, sprinkle the can with glitter. Place the small rocks inside, and cover the lid area with masking tape and also color. Now you have an Independence Day Rattler to make noise when celebrating.
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