May 5, 2010
Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Time to celebrate; it’s Cinco de Mayo! We all know it’s a holiday to drink and be merry and eat and whatever, but do you know its history? Many people falsely believe that it’s to commemorate Mexico’s independence from Spain. Well those people are WRONG!
Cinco de Mayo is actually celebrated for Mexico’s underdog and unlikely win over France at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It also isn’t technically a federal holiday in Mexico. That sucks, right? But Mexico had already been independent for over 40 years (1821) when the Frenchies came along. Actually, interesting story, it was all started because of money. (I know, not actually interesting at all, right?) The Mexican president at the time, Benito Juarez, decided he wasn’t going to pay interest to countries he owed interest to–including France. Smart.
Anyway, France was annoyed by this little slight and decided they’d try to take all their troops who had been undefeated for over 50 years and go occupy Mexico because either a.) they were going to get their money or b.) they were going to get some more land and a new territory. Man, were they wrong! There were 2 French soldiers to every 1 Mexican soldier, and the French soldiers were also much better equipped, so a Mexican victory was almost impossible. But the Mexican armies prevailed and defeated the French.
Here’s something that’s funny about Cinco de Mayo: it seems to be a much larger holiday in the United States than it is in Mexico! Apparently, the holiday is basically only a regional one celebrated in the Puebla area of Mexico, where as here in the United States…well, it’s a big deal. Any excuse to party, right? But jokes aside, it seems to symbolize rooting for the underdog. Go out, celebrate, and be safe!
Posted by Shaane at 7:00 am