¡Dia de la Independencia!

As I mentioned before, we’re in town for a REALLY big holiday: Mexico’s Independence Day.

After Chris’ birthday dinner on Tuesday night, we made our way to The Zocalo for the festivities. The night turned-out to be pretty spectacular.

There were LOTS of people making their way to The Zocalo, and they had metal detectors at every entrance. At 10:50 (just ten minutes before the “Grito,”) we were in line to get through security. The line was moving, but not real fast. We decided to enter at another corner, when suddenly the lines started moving very quickly. Turns-out we’d JUST missed the President ringing the bell and the big “¡Viva México!” shout from the crowd. D’oh! Fortunately we were just in time for the impressive fireworks display. It was REALLY cool to be on the crowded square with all the natives, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the colorful sky. The vibe and the spirit were just incredible.

Later we learned that we also missed a Fantasmic-style light and effects show on the square. Lucky for us, they repeated the performance multiple times over the next three nights. Chris and I caught a show and MAN, was it cool. Besides pyrotechnics, a short film and a booming sound-system, there were special effects projected onto the National Gallery. This was no small feat; the National Gallery is huge, stretching almost the entire length of the square. At times, the building appeared to turn into pyramids, then appeared to become overgrown with jungle leaves and flowers. Later they projected skulls and bones, which (with suitable accompanying music) began to animate and come alive. The most impressive effect, for me, was when they made it appear as if the bricks of the building were actually moving, rearranging themselves into contortions and new configurations. WAY cool. 

Here’s a YouTube video I found from the local TV station, showing highlights of the evening. (3 minutes, work-safe. If you’re pressed for time, just watch from about 0:40 to 2:45.)
 

Here are some pics I took:

Way fun!

On Wednesday, most shops, museums (and a lot of restaurants) were closed, so we decided to have a day of rest. We caught-up on email, napped, picked Temo’s brain about Mexico, and just hung-out.

Posted via Posterous.

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~ by Mike Y on September 20, 2009.

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