Dogs donning festive sombreros , margaritas – guacamole – salsa and chips, Cinco de Mayo is cause for celebration and not just in Mexico (primarily Puebla State) and the United States. Revelers of spring imbibe in the day’s festivities worldwide each year on May 5.
The day has historical significance for Mexico, the United States, and France and is a source of pride for Mexico whose army on 5 May, 1862, under General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. In 1861, France was ruled by Napoleon who had designs for a Latin empire in Mexico. “At the time, there were fears in the United States that the French would use Mexico as a base to back the Confederacy, so President Lincoln and his Secretary of State went out of their way to appear ‘neutral’ in the Mexican situation. They did not want to take on the French and the Confederates at the same time”. (See: Wikipedia)
In Mexico, school children have a day off; and in the United States, Mexican-Americans in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and San Jose partake in the many special cultural activities.
Mexico City just concluded its historical, annual Festival del Centro Historico de Mexico on April 12, a celebration of popular music, opera, dance, concerts, ballet, the arts, and Latin American culture. (See: “Welcome to Mexico’s Historic Centro of an Annual Celebration.”) All things Mexico lead to a surge in tourism an important economic asset as well as a tool to enhance interaction, education, and cultural understanding between global citizens.
Grab your friends (human and animal) and raise your glasses in toast to a most worthy cultural heritage!