September 16th is Mexican Independence Day, and there’s plenty you can do to celebrate—even 4,000 kilometers away in Montreal. This is the day you celebrate with a big fiesta; you gather with your family and friends while everyone proudly wears red, white, and green. It’s hard to pick a favorite part: the spicy food, the fireworks, or watching the clock to shout “Viva Mexico” at eleven. Check out our list of things to do so you can celebrate Mexican Independence Day in Montreal.
1. Dine at a traditional Mexican restaurant
Foodies, ready your appetites because it’s time to explore Montreal’s impressive Mexican food scene. Start with a chilequiles for breakfast, nab some tacos for lunch, then end the day with enchiladas with mole sauce for dinner.
If you can, order some chiles en nogada, Mexico’s most patriotic dish. When you see it, you’ll understand why. It’s a dish with a poblano chili pepper stuffed with meat, fruit, and spices that’s covered in a nut sauce with red pomegranate seeds. The red, white, and green colors mirror the colors of the Mexican flag, but more than that, legends say that chiles en nogada was prepared for General Agustin de Iturbe after he signed the treaty granting Mexico independence from Spain. It’s hard to find a more patriotic dish than that!
Some of Montreal’s Mexican restaurants feature specials and live music on Mexican Independence Day to make the holiday extra special. Here are a few of our favourites to try.
- El Meson
- El Sabor de Mexico
- Tacos Frida
- La Cantina
- Maria Bonita
- El Rey Del Taco
- Café Grain D’or
- La Selva
Visit some of these restaurants or try making a Mexican dish yourself at home.
2. Share rum cocktails at Yulrumfest
On September 16th, Montreal will once again host its popular International Rum Festival: Yulrumfest. You and your friends can sample rums from countries around the world, including Mexico. You can even attend workshops to learn how to prepare, serve, and cook with this liquor of choice.
The fest has something for everyone. If you’re a history buff, you can hear about the history of rum and discuss its cultural and economic significance all over the world. If you’re a home chef, you can explore different ways to cook using this popular liquor. Or if you simply hope to party and socialize, you’ll get the chance to meet other rum enthusiasms with a cocktail in hand.
The festival is happening on Saturday Sep. 16 at 6250 Rue Hutchison.
3. Go salsa dancing
Salsa dancing is a blast whether you’re a seasoned expert or a newbie with two left feet. Montreal is home to a lively salsa scene in which various venues host salsa nights on different days of the week.
While salsa dancing was blended from the cultural dances of several Latin countries including Cuba and Puerto Rico, it’s extremely popular in Mexico, and it’s a great way to celebrate Mexican Independence Day this year.
Consider these recommendations when planning out your holiday:
- Baila con Gusto Montreal – Hosted at Espaces des Arts, this salsa and bachata party manifests every Thursday night and features free dance classes starting at 8:30pm. This is a great option for beginners and experienced dancers alike.
- Salsathèque – Montreal’s oldest Latin club features reggaeton and Latino pop music with salsa and bachata music sprinkled in between. With an illuminated 70s-style disco floor and a fun flamboyant attitude, this colorful club is a great place for merriment and celebration.
- Moka – Every Saturday from 4pm-8pm at Espaces des Arts, groups of dancers gather to dance the salsa, bachata, cha cha cha, and more.
4. Enjoy the day with a family picnic
No need to get fancy, just pack some food and head down to your local park for a picnic with your loved ones. The good weather won’t be around for long, so enjoy it while it lasts!
Perhaps you want to sit along the Lachine Canal and play chess or ping pong with your siblings. If you don’t have feel like packing lunch yourself, pop over to Jeanne-Mance Park where you can grab food from Rachel Street nearby. If you want to barbecue, you should head over to Angrignon Park, one of the few spots in the city with BBQ pits. There are so many choices, such as:
- Lachine Canal
- Jeanne-Mance Park
- Angrignon Park
- Mount Royal Park
- Westmount Park
- LaFontaine Park
- Jarry Park
Look into our favourite picnic parks and see if any suit your fancy.
5. Gift money to family members in Mexico
For some people, the best way to celebrate is through giving. If you want to send money to family members in Mexico this Independence Day, Western Union Canada can help you out. With easy-to-use money transfer options like our online platform and mobile app, along with helpful experts to contact for guidance, sending money to family in Mexico is pretty straightforward.
The Western Union family wishes you a very happy Mexican Independence Day this year. We hope you have a blast celebrating, no matter how you decide to do it.