Published on September 16th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut

The Faces of Mexico’s Bicentennial

An early- morning reveler at the Zócalo. All photos ©Mark Chesnut for

A recent article in the New York Times indicated that people weren’t that excited about Mexico’s Bicentennial this week. But it would be difficult to say that if you were attending the festivities. More than one million people attended the celebrations in Mexico City, where I’m visiting this week. 
On Wednesday morning, I visited the Zocalo, the massive city square where early revelers arrived early to claim their spots for the evening’s celebrations. That night, I headed with a group of journalists to Coyoacan for a smaller scale, but equally good-spirited, version of Mexico’s birthday party. Throughout the nation, Mexicans gathered for live music, fireworks and the famous grito, the battle cry of the Mexican war of independence.
What struck me the most was the great mood that everyone seemed to be in. Families, couples and singles of all ages got into the spirit by donning a variety of festive looks: face paints, gigantic moustaches, traditional costumes, revolutionary uniforms, and multi-colored curly wigs, strap-on mohawks and fake eyelashes in the shades of the Mexican flag. It was a night to experience the joyous Mexican spirit, and all of us wandering the streets — both Mexicans and foreigners — could feel the excitement in the air. (And don’t think that you’ve missed your opportunity to experience the fun — next year may not be the bicentennial, but it will still be a fun celebration, as always.) Happy Birthday, Mexico!

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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