123. Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The Battle of Puebla was important for at least two reasons. First,
although considerably outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated a much
better-equipped French army. Second, it was significant because since the Battle of Puebla, no country in the Americas has been invaded by a European military force.
Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance in Mexico itself, the date is observed nationwide mostly in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. Cinco de Mayo is not a Mexican holiday—it is an American Civil War
holiday, created spontaneously by Mexicans and Latinos living in
California who supported the fragile cause of defending freedom and
democracy during the first years of that bloody war between the states. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.
So why do we observe Cinco de Mayo in the United States, particularly Texas?
In a 1998 study in the Journal of American Culture it was
reported that there were more than 120 official U.S. celebrations of
Cinco de Mayo, and they could be found in 21 different states. An update
in 2006, found that the number of official Cinco de Mayo events was 150
In the United States Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico. The date is perhaps best recognized in the United States as a date to celebrate the culture and experiences of Americans of Mexican ancestry, much as St. Patrick's Day, Oktoberfest, and the Chinese New Year are used to celebrate those of Irish, German, and Chinese
Similar to those holidays, Cinco de Mayo is
observed by many Americans regardless of ethnic origin. Celebrations
tend to draw both from traditional Mexican symbols, such as the Virgen de Guadalupe, and from prominent figures of Mexican descent in the United States, including César Chávez.
To celebrate, many display Cinco de Mayo banners while school districts
hold special events to educate pupils about its historical
significance. Special events and celebrations highlight Mexican culture,
especially in its music and regional dancing such as mariachis and baile folklorico.
Commercial interests in the United States have capitalized on the
celebration, advertising Mexican products and services, with an emphasis
on beverages, foods, and music.
So lets celebrate the culture and experiences of our Mexican American friends and neighbors. La Playa Mexican Cafe on Williams Drive in Georgetown, has announced their Grand Opening and Cinco de Mayo celebration with $.99 Margaritas and Live Music! Mariachis de Jalisco restaurant, also on Williams Drive, is also celebrating with live music on Thursday night with Mariachis Mexico Lindo playing and of course happy hour from 2-6 p.m.
Subscribe to this post's comments using