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Thousands gather to celebrate Mexican Independence Day at California Capitol

The event is celebrated by those of Mexican of descent in Mexico, America and around the world on Sept. 15, the eve of Mexico’s Independence Day.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Thousands gathered at the west steps of the California State Capitol to celebrate Grito De Dolores or the Cry of Dolores, the ceremonial marking of Mexico’s Independence Day.

The event is celebrated by those of Mexican of descent in Mexico, America and around the world on Sept. 15, the eve of Mexico’s Independence Day.

The event commemorates the day Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bell of his Dolores, Mexico church that triggered the Mexican War of Independence from Spain on Sept. 16, 1810.

“Every year on the night of September 15th at around eleven in the evening, the President of México rings the bell of the National Palace in México City,” according to the Mexican Cultural Center of Northern California, who hosted the event in solidarity. “After the ringing of the bell, he repeats a shout of patriotism based upon “El Grito de Dolores", including the names of the important heroes of the Mexican War of Independence who were part of that very historical moment and ending with the threefold shout of ¡Viva México! from the balcony of the palace to the assembled crowd in the Plaza de la Constitución, also known as the Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world.”

The same type of ceremony took place on the California Capitol Rotunda, where a bell was rung and the Mexican flag waved. The event also included cultural music, dancing and food.

Briseida Madrigal immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 2006. She attended the event in a colorful dress to celebrate.

“Wonderful, glorious, like very proud of Mexico,” Madrigal said. “I feel great.”

Sylvia Rodriguez is a food truck operator with Gondo Fusion, which serves Mexican- and Cuban-inspired food. She says she wanted to embrace both parts of her heritage in the food she makes.

“It’s amazing, it’s excitement, it’s my childhood here,” Rodriguez said.

For James Perez, the 11-year-old son of a Mexican immigrant, he says it’s important to celebrate community.

“I get to celebrate my family and I get to celebrate my culture,” Perez said. “Many people like me, celebrating the culture we’re from.”

On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed the start of Latino Heritage Month in California.

“We honor and celebrate the immeasurable contributions and unique stories of Latinos, California’s largest ethnic group,” Governor Newsom proclaimed. “Californians know that our strength and prosperity lie in our state’s diversity, including the 15.6 million Latino Californians with roots that can be traced across the Americas, Indigenous communities of Latin America and Africa, and beyond.”

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