So today is Cinco De Mayo and up to last week I had no idea what it was. Yes its the 5th of May and it’s a big celebration around here, or an excuse to have Mexican beer, food and margaritas, but why is it such a big thing here.
To answer my own question I had to do some research to find out exactly why Cinco De Mayo is such a celebration. There are lots of Mexican restaurants and immigrants around the Atlanta area and the rest of the USA so I can imagine their influence had something to do with it. But I had to find out was it like July 4th here in the US, St Patrick’s Day in Ireland or Bastille Day in France.
So what did I find out. Well Cinco De Mayo commemorates the Mexican armies victory over the French on May 5th 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. A lot of people mistake today for Mexican Independence day, but that falls on September 16th. Mexico was an independent state some 50 years before the Battle of Puebla took place.
Like St Patrick’s Day, Cinco De Mayo can be a bigger celebration in the USA rather than the country that actually owns the day. When I first came to the USA with the Air Corps Pipe Band in 2000 I was surprised at how big St Patrick’s Day was here so I can imagine how some Mexicans think about Cinco De Mayo being such a huge thing here too. Mexico doesn’t really celebrate Cinco De Mayo except for the city of Puebla where for obvious reasons it’s a big thing.
We will have a party at the house on Saturday with a Mexican theme to help celebrate today and I am sure there will be a few beers and margaritas flowing, with this Irishman having a Guinness or 2. Have fun today, be safe and enjoy.