Why celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Dan Moreno

Ever since I moved to this beautiful country almost two years ago, I have noticed how big this day, Cinco de Mayo, is, at least for Americans. But do you even know what you are celebrating?

In Mexico, where I am from, May the 5th is not even a holiday. In fact, lots of people don’t even know there was a miniature war back in 1862.

So yes, you are celebrating a battle that took place 151 years ago in a little town called Puebla, two hours east of Mexico City between the French and the Mexicans. The Mexicans defeated Charles de Lorencez and his 6,500 soldiers.

Just to make sure you all know, Mexico’s independence from the Spaniards took place on September 15-16, 1810, and it is celebrated all around the country with parades, parties, food, drinks and lots of fireworks, just as the 4th of July is celebrated.

Now that I’ve given you a little history lesson, which was not my main purpose, I will move on by telling you that this does not bother me, or any other Mexican living in America at all. On the contrary, I’m proud that you all celebrate with us the magnificence of being Mexican at least once a year.

Just like St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo works as an excuse for people to get drunk and do stupid stuff, except that this time you’ll drink tequila, eat tacos and wear annoying Mexican sombreros. Something came to my mind though: how come so many people claim they have Irish roots, or at least an Irish relative, when it comes to St. Patty’s but not one person says: “Yo soy Mexicano” on Cinco? That’s when I come in and say, “Viva Mexico.”

So I hope you had fun Sunday night, and if not, don’t worry. There is always the real Mexican holiday in September, and you are all invited to hang out with me and party like a real Mexican.

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