News Around the Republic of Mexico
|Celebrating the Centennial of Mexico's Revolution|
Allan Wall - PVNN
November 20, 2010
In the year 2010, Mexico celebrates both its Centennial and Bicentennial.
|The Mexican Revolution (Bicentennial Office of the Instituto Nacional de Estudios Historicos de las Revoluciones de Mexico)|
The Bicentennial celebrates the beginning of what became the Mexican Independence Movement, with Miguel Hidalgo’s famous "Grito" (Cry) on the night of September 15th/16th, 2010.
The Centennial celebrates the start of the Mexican Revolution on November 20th, 1910.
Therefore, 2010 is both Mexican’s Bicentennial of Independence and Centennial of its Revolution, two historical periods separated by an intervening century.
That’s the reason for the festivities and observances. It’s been calculated that over 700 activities related to the bicentennial/centennial are being held this year.
The Bicentennial/Centennial is being marked by various cultural, artistic and educational programs. There are ceremonies, conferences, radio shows and art exhibitions. Mexican television stations are broadcasting related programming, and highways are marked with Ruta 2010 signs indicating historical routes.
Besides the federal government, all 31 Mexican states and the Federal District (Mexico City) are holding observances. Furthermore, the celebrations are expanding beyond Mexico’s borders as Mexican embassies and consulates host related events in other countries. All in all, it’s a big celebration.
The Mexican Revolution is important historically, as it is the source of the contemporary Mexican political system. It is emphasized in Mexican schools and is a key part of Mexican identity.
The Mexican Revolution began November 20th, 1910, as an uprising against longtime dictator Porfirio Diaz, who resigned and left the country in 1911.
Francisco I. Madero, who started the Revolution and became president, was overthrown by Victoriano Huerta, who in turn was overthrown by a coalition which then broke up into warring factions.
The two most colorful revolutionary leaders were Pancho Villa, the "Centaur of the North," and Emiliano Zapata, leader of the "Liberation Army of the South." They’ve also made the deepest impression on the collective psyche of Mexican identity.
A principal legacy of the Mexican Revolution is the current Mexican Constitution, drafted in 1917 in the central Mexican city of Queretaro, under the leadership of Venustiano Carranza. It’s still in use in 2010, albeit with many amendments. (Unlike the U.S. Constitution, however, amendments in the Mexican Constitution are inserted in the text and not placed at the end in a special section.)
Throughout Mexico, there are streets and monuments named for the various heroes of the Mexican Revolution, principally Madero, Zapata, Villa and Carranza.
And each November, Revolution day is celebrated. This year it’s the Centennial of the Revolution.
So what’s going on? There are many Centennial commemorations, with those being held in Mexico City receiving the most publicity.
A massive multimedia sound and light spectacle is being held every night in Mexico’s downtown Zocalo plaza, entitled Yo, México (I, Mexico). It started on November 11th and is set to go until the 23rd. You can see photos HERE.
On the 20th of November there are two parades scheduled in Mexico City. The deportivo (sports-oriented) parade, sponsored by the Mexico City government. This parade’s destination is the famous Monumento a la Revolución. See photos HERE.
The federal government is also sponsoring a military-oriented parade. Its destination is the Zocalo.
Also scheduled for the 20th of November are a tribute to Francisco I. Madero and a musical concert Cien Años de la Canción Mexicana (100 Years of Mexico's Song). And, Mexico City Mayor, Marcelo Ebrard, is scheduled to officially re-open to the public the Monumento a la Revolución and the National Museum of the Revolution.
Other cities are having their programs too, of course. For example, the city of Guadalajara has a gigantic marionette show scheduled for November 23rd to the 28th.
Television and radio shows are dealing with the subject matter of the Centennial, and a new movie is being released entitled Revolución, with 10 directors.
In Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes there are expositions entitled Rostros de México (Faces of Mexico) and Testimonios de una Guerra - Fotógrafos de la Revolución Mexicana (Testimonies of a War – Photographs of the Mexican Revolution). There is plenty of material available for the latter exposition, as there is much extant photography from the era of the Mexican Revolution.
Mexico’s Centennial of the Revolution is a big celebration, an occasion for a fiesta. It is also an opportunity for both Mexicans and interested foreigners to study the history of Mexico in the past century, and to reflect upon it.
I wish all BanderasNews readers, wherever they may be, a happy Mexican Revolution Bicentennial!
Allan Wall is an American citizen who recently moved back to the U.S. after living, and teaching English, in Mexico for a decade and a half. Today, he continues to write articles about various aspects of Mexico and Mexican society. Some of these articles are about Mexico's political scene, history and culture, tourism, and Mexican emigration as viewed from south of the border, which you can read on his website at AllanWall.net.
Click HERE for more articles by Allan Wall.