February 5th marks the final approval of Constitution Day in Mexico by the Mexican Constitutional Congress in 1917. This signaled an end of an era of discrimination, unfair labor laws, and gross inequities for Mexican citizens.
A draft of the Mexican Constitution was written in 1917 following the first few years of the Mexican Revolution, which was led by Francisco Madero in 1910. This draft called for political reforms and social justice, notably emphasizing the importance of social security, which included public health and wellness programs.
Additionally, the Mexican Constitution instituted the Farm Cooperative Program, a policy which redistributed much of Mexico’s land from the wealthy landowners to common people, and makes up nearly half of all Mexico’s modern-day farmland.
Reflecting the nationalist views of the new Mexican government at the time, foreign interests and companies were placed under limitations, including dictating parts of Mexico as “restricted zones” that foreigners couldn’t purchase.
The Mexican Constitution was so innovative for its time, it was immediately deemed a success and became a model for other constitutions around the world, including the Weimar Constitution of 1919.
How Is It Celebrated?
Constitution Day is considered a public holiday in Mexico, which means that schools, businesses, and government offices have the day off, allowing the public to take the day to celebrate. People go on picnics, host parties, and gather family together.
Various festivals, concerts, and street celebrations are held for people to congregate at in order to celebrate with the community. Large parades happen all across Mexico, featuring bright, colorful costumes and marching bands.
During these celebrations, the colors of the day are red, white, and green to symbolize the Mexican flag- even down to the food! Chiles en Nogada is a dish that contains poblano chiles stuffed with meat, topped with a creamy walnut sauce, and finished with a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds. This meal is very traditional and can be traceback to nuns in Puebla in 1821. History says the newly liberated nuns of Puebla made this dish to honor a Mexican general who was visiting the town to celebrate the recognition of Mexico’s independence from Spain.
On Constitution Day in Mexico, an emphasis is put on celebration with those around you. Vibrant decorations are on full display in public areas, the smell of good food is constantly in the air, and the Mexican people gather with their loved ones to celebrate their beautiful country.
Mexican Constitution’s Legacy in Present-Day
The legacy of the Mexican Constitution can still be felt all over the world today. Not only did it signal an end to an era of discrimination, unfair labor laws, and great inequality of wealth for the Mexican people, it served as an example for constitutions around the world. The Constitution laid out basic rights such as freedom of speech, religion, speech, etc., and went a step further to guarantee Mexican citizens the right to a good job, housing, and healthcare.
The Constitution was the first document that said every person has the right to education; by pioneering all aspects of the people’s’ welfare, it and the Mexican people ensured that the well-being of countries’ citizens all around the world would be considered.