Revolution Day in Mexico takes place every year on November 20 to commemorate the beginning of a decade-long arms race that forever changed the country’s political landscape. The day honors the movement leaders and highlights a turning point after a 30-year dictatorship, an event still studied in schools today and with a huge cultural impact — the world-renowned Adelitas, Pancho Villa, and much more come straight from this period. It is a public holiday in the country, and state-sponsored celebrations are planned throughout the nation to commemorate the anniversary.
History of Revolution Day (Mexico)
Revolution Day marks the beginning of the uprising against the settled regime in Mexico. The movement, instigated by national leader Francisco I. Madero, rose in arms against President Porfirio Díaz, who had been in power for over 30 years. After a series of rigged elections, suppression, and censorship, the final tick in the feather was the false declaration of the 1910 general election which clearly favored Madero.
Upset and angered, Madero launched a revolt against President Díaz in 1910. The famous document containing his declaration against Díaz, titled “El Plan de San Luis Potosí,” is also the origin of one of Mexico’s strongest political ideas, “sufragio efectivo, no re-eleción,” which translates to “effective suffrage, no reelections.” It also became a public proclamation of support for the rebels. The effort was joined by many more leaders, such as Pancho Villa and Venustiano Carranza, and garnered the support of affluent Mexicans who bore the brunt of Diaz’s failed economic policies. Diaz, spellbound and unprepared for the uprising, resigned the following year, effectively ending her three-decade reign on the nation. Although the revolution was a success, the country didn’t see peace until a decade later, when Carranza came into power in May 1917. Less than a month before that, Mexico had adopted a new constitution and a fresh emblem.
Revolution Day is enshrined in Mexico’s constitution. The country celebrates every November 20, and the public holiday takes place around that same date, usually on the previous Friday or the following Monday, according to that year’s festive calendar.
Revolution Day (Mexico) timeline
President Díaz declares himself the winner of the presidential election, causing a national stir.
President Madero assumes office.
Mexico adopts a new constitution with term limits for each elected official.
Venustiano Carranza becomes President of Mexico.
Revolution Day (Mexico) FAQs
Who is Emiliano Zapata?
Emiliano Zapata was a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution and is best remembered for his contributions to the country’s agriculture sector.
When did the Mexican Revolution end?
It ended on February 5, 1917.
What is the capital of Mexico?
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico.
Revolution Day (Mexico) Activities
Organize a Mexican brunch
Celebrate the day by getting into the tangy groove and invite all your friends for an afternoon of tamales and “agua fresca.” You’ll have a blast!
Read all about it
Hit up the library around the block or the Google search engine and study all about Mexico’s civil wars, internal unrest, and days of dilapidation up until the mid-1900s. There’s a lot to learn.
Spread the information
You might have never heard of Revolution Day in pop culture or on the daily news. Tell at least three people about this special day and its importance in Mexico’s history.
5 Thrilling Facts About The Mexican Revolution
The first of many revolts
The Mexican Revolution is the first significant conflict of the tumultuous 20th century.
The Mexican migration
The revolution created lots of refugees who fled to the United States and worked as undocumented migrants.
A 45-minute presidency
President Pedro Lascuráin lasted from 17:15 to 18:00 in the office back in 1913.
The birth of the labor laws
The pro-worker constitution abolished child labor, enforced eight-hour work days, and established equal pay in the country.
The loss of life
More than two million Mexicans lost their lives during and in the aftermath of the revolution.
Why We Love Revolution Day (Mexico)
It celebrates pro-worker ideas
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.
It was a turning point in Mexico
Today 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 to the future.
It was led mostly by citizens
Revolution Day in Mexico celebrates the state's and its citizens' victory over a dictator's flawed views. Mexico’s history has been written by its people.
Revolution Day (Mexico) dates