Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone! If you're Hispanic and new to this country like my co-worker here at work is, you must be baffled. So while I digest the huge nacho feast I just consumed for lunch, let's ruminate on the meaning of this day...
It's not the Mexican independence day as some claim it is. Most of Mexico does not celebrate this day at all and are actually baffled by it because their Independence Day is on September 16. So why the Cinco de Mayo celebration?
On May 5, 1862 "Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City" according to this history of Cinco de Mayo website.
In the U.S., it is more of a celebration of Mexican heritage and culture. On this day, Mexican Americans celebrate with dances, musicales, concerts, parades and with food, lots and lots of food, to honor their heritage and the culture of their people. It has nothing to do with Independence day at all.
One way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is to go to a baseball game. Most baseball teams, having a number of players of hispanic ancestry always on their roster, always celebrate this holiday by having something special during games on the 5th of May. If you're lucky enough to have New York Yankees tickets, for instance, you can be sure to be in for a treat.
Myself, I celebrate by eating lots and lots of Mexican food! I hate that I didn't get a chance to make my menudo last weekend, but hey, menudo is good anyday!