If you think that Cinco de Mayo is all about drinking, you’re wrong. Let’s look into the history of this holiday to understand its real meaning.
Not to dispel the fun, but to enrich your cultural knowledge base!
CINCO DE MAYO ISN’T THE INDEPENDENCE DAY IN MEXICO
Mexican Independence Day is observed on September 16 and includes parades and military exhibitions, not booze. Meanwhile, Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of a Mexican defeat of the French in the Battle of Puebla.
CINCO DE MAYO MARKS A HISTORIC FACT
In the Battle of Puebla, Mexicans defeated French army that came to call for money and establish a stronghold to maintain their support for the Confederacy.
THE MEXICAN ARMY RESEMBLED SPARTANS
Even though the French army outnumbered Mexicans in this battle, Mexicans fought heroically. It resembles another historic fact – the Battle of Thermopylae that occurred about 2,300 years before. In that battle, a Spartan army of 300 persons fought against 100,000 Persian invaders. The only difference was the outcome: Mexicans won, but Spartans did not…
CINCO DE MAYO IS MORE IMPORTANT IN PUEBLA
On one hand, it is because French army eventually defeated the Mexicans. On the other hand, the victory in the battle was significant for the city of Puebla, not the entire country. For this reason, it is celebrated locally, not nationally.
CINCO DE MAYO BECAME IMPORTANT IN THE USA TO SUPPORT MEXICAN AMERICANS
In the 1960s, Cinco de Mayo became popular in the United States. This period coincided with the Chicano Civil Rights Movement that strove to increase ethnic solidarity and provide equal rights to Mexican Americans. Thus, Cinco de Mayo became an important tradition, especially in Texas and California, where many Mexican American communities live.
CINCO DE MAYO IS ASSOCIATED WITH BOOZE DUE TO AN AD CAMPAIGN
We associate Cinco de Mayo with booze, Corona beer in particular, because manufacturers of this beer saw this holiday as an opportunity to increase their sales. They launched an ad campaign in 1989 based on the ideas of Mexican ethnic traditions.
Now you know way more about Cinco de Mayo. Surprise your friends and tell them about these facts!