Reflections: Cinco de Mayo is Party Time!
Cinco de Mayo is Party Time!
By William L. Bulla
It's party time! I enjoy the festive events a local restaurants. The day is May the fifth! In Mexico it's called Cinco do Mayo! It is not the Mexican Independence Day, but it perhaps it should be! It is not an American holiday, but perhaps it should be!
It is a historical day, for both Mexico and the United States. It was a day when 4,000 Mexican soldiers defeated the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico on the morning of March 5, 1862. The Mexicans won a great victory that kept Napoleon III from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the United States to build the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.
When the attack on Pearl Harboroccured, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border to join the U.S. Armed Forces. As recently as the Persian Gulf War, Mexicans flooded American consulates with phone calls, trying to join up and fight another war for America. Mexicans, you see, never forget who their friends are, and neither do Americans. That's why Cinco de Mayo is such a party. It is a party that celebrates freedom and liberty, two ideals which Mexicans and Americans have fought shoulder to shoulder to protect, ever since the 5th of May, 1862.
For the most part, the holiday of Cinco de Mayo is more of a regional holiday in Mexico, celebrated most vigorously in the state of Puebla. There is some limited recognition of the holiday throughout the country with different levels of enthusiasm, but it's nothing like that found in Puebla.
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular along the U.S.-Mexico border and in parts of the U.S. that have a high population of people with a Mexican heritage. In these areas the holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, of food, music, beverage and customs unique to Mexico.
Commercial interests in the United States and Mexico have also had a hand in promoting the holiday, with products and services focused on Mexican food, beverages and festivities, with music playing a more visible role as well. Several cities throughout the U.S. hold parades and concerts during the week following up to May 5th, so that Cinco de Mayo has become a bigger holiday north of the border than it is to the south, and being adopted into the holiday calendar of more and more people every year.
It's a day when many of us like to party because of all the festive activities taking place. March 5th, Cinco de Mayo is a day for most Americans to party and an excuse to explore the mysteries of tequila, lime, ice and salt. It is a holiday, where more and more restaurants are celebrating Mexican culture, food and beverages, music, and customs.
VIVA! el CINCO DE MAYO!!
William L. Bulla is a freelance writer residing in Washington County.