Here at Calirosa, we are proud to have roots in Mexican and Californian culture. Our tequila is a celebration of the land, its people, and the generations of tequila-making traditions our partners bring to their craft.
To give thanks this Hispanic Heritage Month, we want to highlight the history and annual events that make up this nationwide celebration.
What Is Hispanic Heritage Month?
National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of the over 60 million Hispanic and Latin American people who currently call the United States home. They are American citizens either of Spanish origin or whose ancestors hailed from Central and South America.
This month is recognized by federal organizations, including the National Park Service, The Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Endowment, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, among others.
For those with Hispanic, Latin, or Spanish ancestry, this month-long celebration is a time to indulge in cultural traditions and commemorate the generations that came before. People who do not identify as Hispanic or Latinx can observe National Hispanic Heritage Month by learning about the vast and diverse cultures represented.
When Did Hispanic Heritage Month Start?
The month-long celebration we know today started as relatively small legislation introduced by Edward R. Roybal, a Congressman from California, and Henry B. Gonzales, a Congressman from Texas who was also the first Mexican American to be elected to the Texas senate.
President Lyndon Johnson implemented national Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 as a result of this legislation. The presidential proclamation stated the United States’ desire to pay social tribute to the Hispanic people and their traditions regarding their personal and economic contributions to the country. National Hispanic Heritage Week under President Johnson was the first real opportunity to celebrate one of the nation’s largest ethnic groups.
President Ronald Reagan expanded Hispanic Heritage Week to consist of an entire month, which officially became public law on August 17, 1988. This included countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Spain, Mexico, and many more.
When Is Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15. It may seem a little strange to have a month-long celebration begin in the middle of a month. However, these dates are significant independence days for many Latin American countries and the citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America.
Countries in Central America like Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua obtained their independence from Spain on September 15, 1821. Mexico celebrates its independence from Spain on September 16, while people in Chile celebrate theirs on September 18.
Furthermore, Columbus Day, or Día de la Raza, is also celebrated from September 15 to October 15.
President Reagan extended Hispanic Heritage Month to include these essential cultural dates and honor people of Hispanic origin and Hispanic culture.
How Is Hispanic Heritage Month Celebrated?
Modern Hispanic and Latinx culture is the result of generations of vibrant customs and diversity. Each fall, the Hispanic population and non-Hispanic Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month through music and dance, food, art, education, and commemorative celebrations.
The National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers, which consists of individuals from multiple organizations and Federal Agencies throughout the United States, was created to help advocate for Hispanic participation in the Federal Government.
Each year, the NCHEPM selects a theme for Hispanic Heritage Month to help federal agencies and educational institutions conduct their Hispanic Heritage Month observances. Themes are submitted to the council by members of the public and voted on.
Poster designs representing the chosen theme are also submitted online and voted on as a collaborative project between the public and the NCHEPM. American citizens whose ancestors are not from Hispanic or Latin American countries are welcome to participate.
Parades & City-wide Events
Major cities throughout the United States celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with fun events, parades, and commemorative programs that encourage participation from people of all backgrounds and cultures, including other racial minorities.
For example, residents can watch the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Philadelphia or cheer on their favorite team at the Philadelphia International Unity Cup. This event is a three-week-long futbol tournament with matchups from countries like Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Puerto Rico, and more.
In New York City, residents line up to watch the annual Hispanic Day Parade on October 14. They also participate in events that honor Hispanic Americans by attending the Latino Short Film Festival or the Queens Culture Carnival.
Los Angeles, a city with the second-largest Hispanic and Latino population in the United States, hosts annual events and workshops for people of all ages to enjoy. These events include language and cooking classes, learning traditional crafts, storytime for children, special museum exhibits, art contests, concerts, and more.
A large part of Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations revolves around food. And with so many cultures and countries represented, the food options are vast and flavorful.
Celebrate Colombian and Venezuelan cuisine with arepas. This food is made of ground maize dough or precooked cornmeal, and people commonly eat it as a snack or side dish. They are often filled with beef, fried plantains, avocado, shredded cheese, beans, and other regional foods. Or, you can eat them like sandwiches!
Originating from Puebla, Mexico, mole poblano is a rich, versatile dish made with a thick reddish-brown sauce consisting of chilis, Mexican chocolate, nuts and seeds, spices like cinnamon, coriander, cumin, and dried fruits. It has a layer of sweetness from the chocolate and a flavorful kick from the chili peppers, which go great over chicken and beef.
Those with a sweet tooth should try Tajadas, which are simply fried plantains. They can also be served alongside pork or chicken dishes with rice. People enjoy this dish in Venezuela, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, among others.
Popular in many coastal regions of Latin America, including Peru and Ecuador, ceviche is a sweet-savory dish consisting of fresh raw fish like shrimp or oysters, cilantro, onion, salt, and citrus juice.
We recommend pairing any of these meals with a Calirosa tequila cocktail for a vibrant, elevated dining experience to accompany your at-home celebrations.
Music and Dance
The traditional music and dance styles of Hispanic and Latin American countries have greatly influenced modern music and movement in the United States. Many celebratory events during Hispanic Heritage Month include classes and performances by professional dance troupes that include salsa, cumbia, bachata, flamenco, and samba music.
Celebrate with Calirosa!
With the pandemic restrictions lifting and life slowly returning to normal, this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month will be one we never forget.