Mexicans celebrated their Independence Day without big public ceremonies for the first time in 153 years on Tuesday due to restrictions on public gatherings caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Each year, the president rings the bell that marked the call to arms during the 1810-1821 struggle to win independence from Spain, and reenacts the Cry of Dolores, shouting “Viva Mexico!”

That cry or “grito”, gives the ceremony its name. Independence Day is formally September 16, but has been celebrated the night before for over a century. 

The event has not been cancelled since 1847, during the Mexican-American War, when US troops occupied Mexico City. 

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador performed the “grito”, but only in front of a select number of invited guests. 

Lopez Obrador

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