You know what today is? Yes, it’s Cinco de Mayo. 5th of May. Mexican Independence Day, let’s all drink beer and wear sombreros!
No. Wrong. Stop. Ugh.
First off, how many times have holidays been corrupted into excuses to drink? St. Patrick’s Day, I’m looking right at you. Yeah, you too, New Year’s Eve.
The fact is, Cinco de Mayo is actually a bigger holiday in America than it is in Mexico. And it has nothing to do with Mexican independence. That holiday is actually on September 16th, when Mexican independence from Spain was achieved (way back in 1810).
Cinco de Mayo actually celebrates another Mexican battle, way back in 1862, when the Battle of Puebla wsa a fight between Mexico and France. Spoiler alert – France lost.
But the French came back, defeated the Mexican army, and captured Mexico City – at which point they installed their own ruler, Emperor Maximillian. Three years later, the Mexican army – along with Americans who joined the fight after their own Civil War ended – repelled the French from Mexico City, and Emperor Maximillian was beheaded.
So if you want to do something involving Cinco de Mayo this year, how about understanding and working with our Latin brothers and sisters? Not just on this day, but all the time. Appreciate all the cultural and historic wonders between our two great nations.
You want to treat Cinco de Mayo as a holiday? That’s fine. But treat it as a holiday of appreciation and friendship. Not as a sense of cultural appreciation, like, “I’m going to drink Corona and eat at a Taco Bell, happy Cinco de Mayo!” Ugh.
There’s so much history out there. We really need to learn more. It’s important.
No, seriously, it’s important.