Look(ed) up Cinco de Mayo…

Posted on May 5, 2010. Filed under: Culture, HowTo, Travel |

…because I heard on the news today that it was invented in California! Today, the fifth of May, is a big-deal Mexican-American holiday, particularly in border states like Arizona and New Mexico. I sort of assumed that people of Mexican descent had been celebrating it for centuries!

Here is the Real Story:

Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the celebration of Mexico’s independence day. The El Grito de la Indepedencia (Cry of Independence) is held annually on Sept. 16 in honor of Mexico’s independence from Spanish rule in 1810.

Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of freedom from a different oppressive European empire: France.  The holiday actually commemorates the Mexican army’s win over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

The holiday was invented in California in 1863, to draw Latinos in the US together. Now it is widely celebrated in the border states, and is becoming more widespread all over the US. The only Mexican state that celebrates it, however, is Puebla. Nearly every restaurant here in Arizona is offering Cinco de Mayo specials today. Our largest furniture retailer is having a Cinco de Mayo sale!

We celebrate by eating, drinking, and listening to music, as with many holidays. This year, it is especially poignant to recognize Mexican culture with the recent controversy over illegal immigrants. US people of Mexican descent have a long and proud heritage in our state, and whatever its origin, I celebrate the fifth day of the fifth month. ¡Olé!

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5 Responses to “Look(ed) up Cinco de Mayo…”

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We celebrated with margaritas and guacamole! We celebrate Sept 16, too. Cuz it’s fun.

I had always assumed that the day had been celebrated for centuries as well, but really had no idea what it actually all about. Very good to know, and thanks for sharing! There’s lots of Cinco de Mayo sales and specials around here as well.

Cuz it’s fun. Indeed, Care! Best reason to do most things, in my opinion! 😀

So, it has spread to the east coast and to your lovely south, Shane! It truly has become mainstream! It’s always good to find out something new about what we thought we knew! 😉

Hey there friend! I see youve updated your theme, so have I . TEll me if you like it! Ive not been writing at all lately, too much work and life in the way. I’m hoping it’ll get better. I have lots to say 😉

Hi, mrgnome. As you see, I haven’t updated in a while, either. Getting back, though, really! Looking forward to your lots.


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