Why is Cinco de Mayo so popular? I don’t know about you, but I don’t really need an excuse to enjoy a couple of margaritas with friends on a patio. But seriously, do you really know what you are celebrating? Hell, I was born in Mexico and I barely knew before I wrote this blog post. I didn’t even know it existed until I was in high school.
“What is Cinco De Mayo,” I asked my Dad.
“Nothing.” he said.
“What do you mean nothing? What happened?” I questioned. There had to be some reason people here celebrated.
“It was a battle, but in Mexico they don’t really celebrate it there like they do here.” he answered.
For a while I left it at that. I knew it was some battle but never really looked into it. I had no trouble celebrating Cinco de Mayo, or anything for that matter, in college. Maybe it’s because I am turning 30 this year but for some reason those questions came back to me. I felt kind of embarrassed that I am literally from Mexico but I had pretty much no idea why the grocery stores are currently out of avocados and limes.
What is the big deal with Cinco de Mayo?
Something DID happen. It celebrates the victory between Mexico and the French at the Battle of Puebla. Mexico won (obviously), even though they weren’t “supposed to.” It’s a whole David and Goliath thing. You can use Google for the rest of the story, but Cinco de Mayo is definitely not their Independence Day.
So, why did Dad say they don’t celebrate it in Mexico?
First, here’s a fun fact, Mexico has 31 states.They do celebrate it in Mexico, in Puebla. Puebla is a state and apparently goes nuts with parades and parties. I’m sure other parts of Mexico celebrate it too, but not the the extent Puebla does. Think of it as Mardi Gras in New Orleans vs. Mardi Gras in North Dakota.
So how did it become so popular here?
Well that question probably has several reasons. It started in California and moved East as Mexican-Americans spread across the country. It’s definitely become a pretty big marketing day to sell Mexican beer, tortillas, tequila and of course limes. If you want to look at it from a more serious sociological standpoint, it’s probably become a way for Mexican-Americans to show their pride and to celebrate their heritage.
Either way the weather is usually nice, restaurant patios are opening up, so it’s no surprise it’s become one of the biggest drinking days of the year. So now that you know a little bit more about Cinco de Mayo get out there, wear a sombrero, and enjoy the day because I don’t care who you are, tacos are delicious.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.