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National Holiday in Mexico

No.2016_02 [ May 20, 2016 ]

March 21st is one of the most important holidays in Mexico because we commemorate Benito Juarez's birthday. Benito Juarez rose from humble origins to occupy the Presidency of the Republic on several occasions. An important statesman and liberal reformer, he was the first indigenous Mexican President and he is consdered a national hero because of his achievements.

Benito Juarez's birthday is a national holiday and banks, schools, government offices and many businesses are closed. On this memorial day, the President officiates a flag raising ceremony in Mexico D.F.

Benito Juárez was born in Oaxaca, in 1806. He became an orphan during his childhood and he was forced to take a job as a domestic servant. After proving he was a brilliant boy, he was given the opportunity to pursue his studies and he became a lawyer in 1934. He started his career as a judge and then he became governor of Oaxaca. The period of his leadership is known in Mexican history as "The reform of the North" and constituted a liberal political and social revolution. He was dedicated to democracy, equal rights, indigenous people, separation of the church and state, control of the army and many other progressive reforms. On this same day, we also celebrate the beginning of the spring in Mexico. During the spring equinox, thousands of people gather around the Pyramid "The castle", located at the center of the archaeological site Chichén Itzá, in the Yucatán Peninsula. At sunset, the lights and shadows create the appearance of a snake shape that gradually undulates down the stairway of the pyramid to ultimately unite with an enormous snake-head sculpture carved into the base of the stairway. We cannot be certain of the purpose of this pyramid, but one theory is that the Maya civilization had astronomical knowledge and they used the structure to track the seasons and mark solar events like the solstices and equinoxes.


May 20, 2016


Special Correspondent in Mexico: K & P