Cinco de Mayo.

Big Fiesta! Beer! Party! Food!... Hold on... What Cinco de Mayo means? (4/27/2006)

 

Looks like everybody likes the Cinco de Mayo celebration because we get lots of food, beer and parties. But what we are celebrating? Is not that kind of crazy about celebrating something that we have no idea? Anyway, looks like not everyone cares about what they are celebrating, the only thing they care about is the party.

 

I did a survey at work asking them what "Cinco de Mayo" actually mean. Seven of 10 said: "Is the 4th of July for Mexico". Two of them said "I have no idea". Only one, after doing a research on Internet, said: The victory of a battle.

 

That is right.

 

Cinco de Mayo means "May 5th". It is not the Mexican independence. Mexico declared its independence from Spain at midnight of September 15th, 1810. (Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla called for the independence, but that is another story)

 

The Cinco de Mayo is best know as "Batalla de Puebla" and means The battle at 'Puebla'. This happen on 1863. Mexico just gained the independence from Spain on 1821, later Mexico was in war, the American War (1846-1848) and finally, a civil war on 1858.

 

After struggling for many years, Mexico was in debt with France. At that time, Napoleon sent Maximilian of Austria to rule Mexico and expand the France empire as a way to collect the debt. The French army arrived at Veracruz. The General Ignacio Zaragoza with a poorly equiped army of Mestizos and Zapotec Indians defeated the French army at Puebla, just before reaching the Capital City.

 

No army defeated Napoleon before, No army had defeated the French army in 50 years before May 5th of 1863. We, Mexicans, are proud of it, specially because the brave indians that fought with only machetes. An army of approximately 4,000 indians defeated an army of 8,000.

 

But, do we have a reason to celebrate? Why we celebrate, here, in the United States of America? I have two reasons:

 

The first one: If France invades Mexico, United States could be invaded also by Napoleon.

 

The second one: Money, money, money, money. Cinco de mayo is just a pretext to make lots of money and sky rocket sales.

 

I think the second reason is the real reason why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in United States.

 

Is up to you to decide if there is a reason to celebrate.

 

Sources:
Microsoft Encarta.
http://www.vivacincodemayo.org/history.htm
...and the poorly education that I received from the school.

 

 


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