Five Things You Should Know About Cinco de Mayo
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You know the drill. Cinco de Mayo comes around and it’s out with the boater hats, in with the sombreros. Gone are the afternoons of benign liquid and for one day only, it seems like the entire American population is trying their hand at the tequila diet. Sometimes it’s offensive, other times it’s funnier than “butt farmers,” but there is only one definitive property that unites the American celebrators.

And that is ignorance.

I spent the greater portion of this morning asking passersby if they planned to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. 7 out of 10 people said yes. And while the other three said no, the entire group agreed that while knew it was Mexican-rooted, they weren’t quite sure about its historical significance. To be honest, I didn’t know much either, other than that I’ve heard the term the Battle of Puebla, (which I also know noting about,) thrown around in conjunction with May 5th.

Wikipedia mitigated my ignorance and now I know that’s not all fun and tequila.

If you intend to celebrate, why don’t you impress your drunk friends by sharing these five facts about the holiday staring us dead in the eye.

1. It is a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

2. We are celebrating Mexican heritage and pride because in 1862, in the state of Puebla, Mexico beat France’s ass in The Battle of Puebla.

3. This is not Mexico’s independence day. That happens on September 16th.

4. Americans started celebrating Cinco de Mayo in regions that maintained high concentrations of Mexican immigrants. In 2005, the U.S. Congress issued a Concurrent Resolution calling on the President of the United States to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

4a. I copy and pasted that last sentence from Wikipedia. I’m not proud of it but I’m also not a liar.

5. On that note, Americans view the holiday as theirs. A holiday that commemorates Latin life in the United States during the first world war.

Are you drunk yet?

  • Kate Wilson
  • Andale!! Well said.
    BOHEMIAN SEÑORITA…Blog post at:

  • i was feeling this sort of sentiment when i saw all the ‘happy cinco de mayo’ posts on twitter. was like, ‘do you even know what that day means?’. thanks for cluing the rest of your readers in. frankly, i try not to misappropriate other cultures festivities, esp when i dont even know what it’s about.

    A Beautiful Zen

  • laGata =^..^=

    muchas gracias, amiga ~!!

  • Guest

    Confused by your statement that it commemorates Latin life in the US during the First World War??? If you are referring to 1862 you’re about a half century early to be WWI. Otherwise I agree whole heartedly with the sentiment behind this post

  • Daniph

    As a loyal and frequent reader from Mexico city, I am very grateful for this post.

  • Frida Kahlo

    Actually you forgot to add one thing in the list. Since I know you read Wiki too, it also states that Cinco De May is “observed in the United States as a celebration of THANKS to
    Mexico in fending off [what]…would…[have been] French invasion of the U.S”

    AKA if Mexico wouldn’t of won the battle against the French, the US would’ve gotten their ass invaded. So yeah 🙂

  • Nubya Haze

    We Mexicans (living in Mexico) still don’t understand why Cinco de Mayo is such a big celebration in the US, we don’t even celebrate it. REALLY.

  • nickzedd

    The first World War was not in 1862. It was from 1914 to 1919.

  • Yocelin Delgadillo

    Mexico’s independence day is on September 15th…