What is Cinco de Mayo? It Involves the French Empire!

What is Cinco de Mayo?  It Involves the French Empire!

CINCO DE MAYO REMEMBERS MEXICO’S VICTORY OVER THE FERNCH EMPIRE IN 1862

So let’s be clear.  I love Cinco de Mayo.  And no, I had no real clue what the holiday and celebration were about until, maybe(?), my mid 30’s.  Like most holidays we celebrate in the United States, I thought I knew what it was about.  But I didn’t, really.  I also didn’t know that Cinco de Mayo is much bigger in the US than it is in Mexico!  So what is this mysterious holiday really about?  It’s not about Mexico’s Independence.  It’s the celebration and remembering the Mexican army kicking the French Empire’s butt.  So this happened back on May 5th (of course), 1862.

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THREE CHEERS AND TEQUILA, REMEMBERING THE UNDERDOG VICTORY

So that was the day that Mexico won a major battle over the French at the Battle of Puebla, during the Franco-Mexican War.  At the time, Mexico was a still recently liberated country from Spanish rule.  The French wanted to move in on the action and invaded.  Even though the French did eventually take over Puebla City, just outside of Mexico City, the 5th of May represents an underdog victory.  And, as you know, no one really speaks French in Mexico today.  So Cinco de Mayo is all about celebrating the underdog.  It’s like David and Goliath, but in the New World. 

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SO ENJOY YOUR CINCO DE MAYO, AND REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE A GREAT HISTORY

So how is this such a big deal in the United States?  Well, just like Christmas, it sells lots of fun and many want to buy in.  And, just like Christmas, the reason you are celebrating seems to get lost in the mix.  Or, in this case, the margarita mixer.  But I have no problem celebrating either way!  Cinco de Mayo is good fun.  Let’s just hope more of us remember to root for the underdog, especially as he might be looking for asylum…. Maybe then we’ll remember what July 4th is about, too.

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