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El Grito in San Miguel de Allende

Carrera de la Conspiración 2017

Contingente llega para entrega de conseja

By Jesús Aguado

Mexico’s Independence celebrations famously involve fireworks “El Grito de la Independencia” ritual, but another annual commemorative independence ritual has already gotten started with today’s annual Conspiracy Race, this year happening on September 13. This event leads up to the main celebrations on September 15.

Every year, the winner of this race—whose course runs from Atotonilco to San Miguel de Allende—will represent San Miguel and carry the Torch of Liberty into the Jardín on September 15 during Independence Day celebrations. This person will appear next to Mayor Villarreal on the Allende House balcony at 10:55pm as part of the more famous Grito ritual, in which officials and Mexicans of all classes momentarily become united in their shouts of the traditional independence cry, “Viva Mexico!”

The ritual Torch of Liberty event commemorates a key moment in Mexico’s independence history—when independence conspirators in Queretaro realized that their secret had been discovered by colonial authorities, and Ignacio Perez was sent to deliver the message to Ignacio Allende in San Miguel, which at the time was called San Miguel el Grande.

The carrying of the torch into the Jardín is only the last part of the ritual, however. On September 15, from 9am–3pm, groups of athletes from communities and municipalities of Guanajuato will arrive at the Jardín Principal to receive the conseja (the message of liberty) and the symbolic torch of liberty, which will be involved in a ceremony later on that night in San Miguel.

On September 15, at 3pm, the winner of the Race of Conspiracy, along with other athletes from other communities, will attend a ceremony in the city of Querétaro together with San Miguel officials. During the ceremony, the governor or the mayor of Querétaro will pass the torch of liberty to the officials of San Miguel. This represents Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez sending a message to Ignacio Allende (through Ignacio Perez) to alert him that their conspiracy against the Spanish had been uncovered. The torch is carried by various athletes, who run along the road that Perez took from Querétaro to San Miguel to deliver the message.

At 9:30, the theater troupe Grupo de Aficionados al Teatro will parade with torches from Calzada de la Aurora to the Jardin Principal, passing along Hidalgo, Insurgentes, Pepe Llanos and San Francisco.

At 10:30pm, the mayor will re-enact the liberation of prisoners that took place in Dolores in 1810. The prisoners will be portrayed by Grupo de Aficionados al Teatro. At 10:40pm, in the old town hall building, the mayor will receive the flag from the military, which will fly at the moment he gives the cry. The flag is then taken to the Casa Allende museum. City’s Mayor will be flanked on his way by members of the military and by local authorities.

At 10:55pm, the symbolic fire will arrive at the museum. The winner of the Race of Conspiracy is responsible in taking it up to the right balcony of Casa Allende (seen from the esplanade in the Jardín), to wait for the president to appear and give the traditional cry: “Mexicans! Long live the heroes who gave us our nation! Long live Hidalgo! Long live Morelos! Long live Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez! Long live Allende! Long live Aldama! Long live San Miguel de Allende! Long live Mexico!” The last sentence is said three times.

The mayor then waves the Mexican flag from the balcony and throws a cord tied to the clapper, which will make the bell on the tower of the Parroquia toll. The act is followed by fireworks and live music until you drop.

 

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