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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Every year just as spring like weather starts to be enjoyed in most of the USA (with emphasis on most), people come together to eat, drink and make merry. I thought I would write a post on the subject because there seems to be so much mis-information about what exactly is being celebrated.  The last person I heard tonight about plans to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, referred to it as Cinco de Bud Light.  Two things it definitely isn’t;
  • Mexican Independence Day
  • The Mexican St. Patrick’s Day
Cinco de Mayo celebrations are probably more popular in the US, than in Mexico, but also very different levels, styles, and reasons for (of) celebration.  One might even suspect that the US beer distributers are behind the hype build-up as the day approaches.  Almost every ad campaign by restaurants and grocery stores, nightclubs etc., involves the sale of alcohol.  Another major push of the celebration is Mexican music, and authentic Mexican food.
Cinco de Mayo has to be the most celebrated holiday, and least understood.  Here are a few facts about the what, where, how and when of Mexico’s Cinco de Mayo:
  • Literally Cinco de Mayo means the fifth day of the month of May
  • The Celebration is about: the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. In 1861, France sent a massive army to invade Mexico, to collect on some war debts. The French army was much larger, better trained and equipped than the Mexicans struggling to defend the road to Mexico City. It rolled through Mexico until it reached Puebla, where the Mexicans made a stand, and won a huge victory.
  • A common misconception is that the celebrations is about the Mexican Independence. Mexico celebrates its independence on September 16, because it was on that day in 1810 that Father Miguel Hidalgo took to his pulpit in the village church of the town of Dolores and invited all present to take up arms and join him in overthrowing the Spanish tyranny. Independence Day is a very important holiday in Mexico and not to be confused with Cinco de Mayo.
  • In Puebla and in many USA cities with large Mexican populations, there are parades, dancing and festivals. Traditional Mexican food is often served or sold. Mariachi bands fill town squares, and a lot of Dos Equis and Corona beers are served. It’s a fun holiday, really more about celebrating the Mexican way of life than about remembering a battle which happened 150 years ago.
Have a happy Cinco de Mayo and remember to assign someone as DD (Designated Driver).  The best is yet to come…

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