Revolution Day (Mexico): History, Significance and Celebrations

Mexico’s Revolution Day (Dia de la Revolucion) is a national public holiday in the country which is annually celebrated on 20th November. This day commemorates the beginning of ten-year long Mexican Revolution in 1910. 

This day honors the movement that began in 1910 to end the struggle against dictator José de la Cruz Porfirio Diaz Mori. The holiday is given on the third Monday of November near the official day of 20th November. 

This event marked a very important turning point in the history of Mexico. As it has been called “the defining event of modern Mexican history”. It resulted in the destruction of the Federal Army and its replacement by a revolutionary army, and the transformation of Mexican culture and government.  

Event Revolution Day (Mexico)
Date November 20, 2022
Day Sunday
Significance The day day commemorates the beginning of ten-year long Mexican Revolution in 1910.
Observed by Mexico

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Revolution Day (Mexico) History: 

Although the decades-long regime of President Porfirio Díaz (1876–1911) was increasingly unpopular, there was no foreboding in 1910 that a revolution was about to break out. The aging Díaz failed to find a controlled solution to presidential succession, resulting in a power struggle among competing elites and the middle classes, which occurred during a period of intense labor unrest, exemplified by the Cananea and Río Blanco strikes. When wealthy northern landowner Francisco I. Madero who was educated in Europe challenged Díaz in the 1910 presidential election and Díaz jailed him, Madero called for an armed uprising against Díaz in the Plan of San Luis Potosí.

Soon rebellions broke out all across the country but especially in Northern Mexico. During this time, several other Mexican folk heroes began to emerge, including the well-known Pancho Villa in the north, and the peasant Emiliano Zapata in the south, who were able to harass the Mexican army and wrest control of their respective regions. Díaz was unable to control the spread of the insurgence and thus resigned in May 1911, with the signing of the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez, after which he fled to France. Madero was elected president but received opposition from Emiliano Zapata who didn’t wish to wait for the orderly implementation of Madero’s desired land reforms. In November of the same year, Zapata denounced Madero as president and took the position for himself. 

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Emiliano Zapata controlled the state of Morelos, where he chased out the estate owners and divided their lands to the peasants. Later, in 1919, Zapata was assassinated by Jesus Guajardo under orders from General Pablo Gonzalez. It was during this time that the country broke into many different factions, and guerilla units roamed across the country destroying and burning down many large haciendas and ranchos. Madero was later taken prisoner and executed and the entire country existed in a state of disorder for several years, while Pancho Villa rampaged through the north, and different factions fought for presidential control. 

Eventually, Venustiano Carranza rose to the presidency and organized an important convention whose outcome was the Constitution of 1917, which is still in effect today. Carranza made land reform an important part of that constitution. This resulted in the ejido, or farm cooperative program that redistributed much of the country’s land from the wealthy landholders to the peasants. The ejidos are still in place today and comprise nearly half of all the farmland in Mexico. Carranza was followed by others who would fight for political control, and who would eventually continue with the reforms, both in education and land distribution. During this period the PRI political party was established, which was the dominant political power for 71 years until Vicente Fox of the conservative PAN party was elected. 

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Revolution Day (Mexico) Significance: 

The celebrations of Revoltion Day is essential as it was a turning point in the modern history of Mexico. As it marks the beginning of a Mexican revolt that ended an era of tyranny in favor of a vibrant and representative democracy. It was the first step towards the future on how Mexico would look like and today we have that Mexico! Revolution Day celebrates the progressive ideas of freedom, social justice, the dignity of labor, and equal opportunity. All of them are still very alive today in the nation. 

This day celebrates the Mexican people as it was because of the determination and courage shown by the common people that time revolution was possible. So this day celebrates the state’s and its citizens victory over a dictator’s flawed views. It states that Mexico’s history has been written by its people not by any dictator and that’s what keeps this nation alive. But we know that freedom or change comes at a cost amd it is estimated that about 1.7-2.7 million Mexicans died in this bloody conflict. So this day works as a memorial when people remember and pays tribute to all the people who sacrificed their lives in this conflict. 

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The popular heroes of the Mexican Revolution are the two radicals who lost: Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa. As early as 1921, the Mexican government began appropriating the memory and legacy of Zapata for its own purposes. Pancho Villa fought against those who won the Revolution and he was excluded from the revolutionary pantheon for a considerable time, but his memory and legend remained alive among the Mexican people. With the exception of Zapata who rebelled against him in 1911, Francisco Madero was revered as “the apostle of democracy”. Madero’s murder in the 1913 counter-revolutionary coup elevated him as a “martyr” of the Revolution.  

An important element the Revolution’s legacy is the 1917 Constitution. The document brought numerous reforms demanded by populist factions of the revolution, like with article 27 empowering the state to expropriate resources deemed vital to the nation. These powers included expropriation of hacienda lands and redistribution to peasants. In Article 123 the constitution codified major labor reforms, including an 8-hour workday, a right to strike, equal pay laws for women, and an end to exploitative practices such as child labor and company stores. The constitution strengthened restrictions on the Roman Catholic Church in Mexico.   

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Revolution Day (Mexico) Celebrations: 

Revolution Day is a public holiday in Mexico. Banks, schools, government offices and many businesses are closed. Some streets and roads may be closed or restricted in towns and cities to make way for large celebrations. People intending on travelling via public transport in Mexico should check with public transit authorities on any timetable or route changes. 

Outdoor events such as bazaars, festivals and parades are part of the Revolution Day celebrations, where shouts of “Viva la Revolución!” and “Viva Mexico!” are heard. Stories are told or sung about the revolutionary heroes who ended the struggle and helped to reform Mexico.  

Festive foods include enchiladas, tostadas, tacos, and fajitas which is enjoyed by families and friends all across the country. The Mexican flag a tricolor of green, white and red with the national coat of arms in the center of the white stripe is flown amd hosted at many public places all over the country on Revolution Day. 

Most Searched FAQs on Revolution Day (Mexico): 

1. When is Revolution Day (Mexico) celebrated? 

Revolution Day (Mexico) is annually celebrated on 20th November in Mexico. 

2. What happened during the Mexican revolution? 

The Mexican Revolution, which began in 1910, ended dictatorship in Mexico and established a constitutional republic. A number of groups, led by revolutionaries including Francisco Madero, Pascual Orozco, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, participated in the long and costly conflict. 

3. What were the main effects of the Mexican revolution? 

The Mexican Revolution sparked the Constitution of 1917 which provided for separation of Church and state, government ownership of the subsoil, holding of land by communal groups, the right of labor to organize and strike and many other aspirations.

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