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Fiestas Patrias

The fiestas patrias are the Mexican national holidays that originated in the 19th century.

In chronological holiday order:

  • Día de la Constitución commemorates the Constitution of 1917, promulgated after the Mexican Civil War on February 5.

  • Natalicio de Benito Juárez commemorates President Benito Juarez's birthday on March 21, 1804. Juarez is popularily regarded as an exemplary politician due to his liberal policies that, among other things, defined the traditionally strict separation of the church and the Mexican state.

Contrary to popular wisdom in the United States, Cinco de mayo is not considered the most important national holiday in Mexico. That distinction is reserved for Dieciséis de septiembre, which is celebrated from the eve of September 15 with a re-creation of the Grito de Dolores at all executive government branch offices' courts (from the President down to the municipal governments) and lasts through the night. In contrast, Cinco de mayo is observed as a notable date, but it is not considered more or less important than the other holidays excepting Dieciséis de septiembre.

In Chile, the name fiestas patrias is reserved for the holidays of September 18 (dieciocho de septiembre, or simply el dieciocho), Independence day and September 19 , Glories of the Army.

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