5 Ways To Celebrate Mexican Independence Day

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With summer drawing to a close and many kids back in school, chances are those impromptu post-work cocktails outside will be fewer and farther between. There are the carpools, homework that needs to be done, and food that needs to be put on the table, of course. But change all that on September 15th, the eve of Mexican Independence Day (mark your calendars now). How many other times during the year do you actually have real reason to host a spicy salsa-eating contest, or make (and break) your own piñatas? Not many.

Click here to see the 5 Ways to Celebrate Mexican Independence Day Slideshow.

Wait, isn't it Mexico's independence what we're celebrating on Cinco de Mayo, you might ask? Nope. Cinco de Mayo marks Mexico's victory in 1862 over French forces at the battle of Puebla, and is celebrated more here than in Mexico. Mexicans gained their independence from Spanish rule over 50 years earlier, in 1810. Today, September 16th is a major holiday with parades and patriotic fiestas, just as the Fourth of July is here in the U.S. Only the party begins on the 15th, just before midnight, when bells and cries of "Viva Mexico" can be heard through the streets. And the tequila and mezcal are flowing freely, of course.

As any occasion to bring out the margarita maker and corn chips is reason enough to celebrate, we're sharing our five favorite ways to celebrate Mexico's independance this year. Why go out for Mexican when you can stay at home and challenge your friends to see who can concoct the craziest variation on a margarita and then sing about tequila under a string of chile pepper lights? Even the kids can partake in the celebrations (minus the tequila, of course) by making their own maracas and parading around the house. 

How are you celebrating the holiday?

Click here to see the 5 Ways to Celebrate Mexican Independance Day Slideshow.