Not that many people care, or should I say many Americans care, but I happen to have a curiosity about many things that seem to be “common knowledge” to most. To be more specific, I often try to educate myself on the reason things are deemed “the way they are” and how things have come to be instead of just taking them at face value. With that being said, today is the 5th of May, better known as “Cinco de Mayo” to most people (especially those with a fondness for alcohol). Before we go any further please take a moment to answer this question with the most accurate answer you can come up without cheating and looking it up.
What is the significance of Cinco de Mayo?
Don’t worry, I’ll wait… Ok, so I’m sure something has come to you, so just hold on to that answer and let’s move on.
When asking most people of all nationalities and races (but mostly American) that I’ve come across what is the purpose of this holiday, most quickly reply something about “Mexican Independence Day”. Being like most people, I would just take this answer and keep it moving, but in the back of my mind I would always sit and wonder if this is really the case. Well since I’m stuck at work today (i.e. can’t drink as I would like to) and have access to the world-wide web, I decided to do some research and figure out if this was indeed the Independence Day of Mexico. And just like I thought, most people were flat-out WRONG. For the sake of being brief, I’ll sum it up for you readers.
Cinco de Mayo has nothing to do with the Mexican Independence Day!
Their actual Independence Day is September 16th, which last I checked was quite a few months away from the 5th of May. Cinco de Mayo came to be after the Mexican army decisively defeated the much larger and better equipped French army in 1862 near Puebla.
The story is quite interesting if you’re a history person (if not please skip to the next paragraph), especially the things that followed this day throughout the next few years and how it correlated with the U.S. Civil War. I found it enlightening, and was glad to figure it out.
Now, I know most of us don’t really care about this holiday since it’s usually just another excuse to drink very tasty drinks. The same goes for St. Patrick’s Day, especially seeing as how a fair number of people have no idea who St. Patrick is and how that holiday came to be as well. But if this post has given you any insight into where the importance of the date originated, or has given you some reason to want to know more about the holidays we “celebrate” on any level then I feel that this is better than not knowing at all. If you’ve made it this far in the post, thanks for reading and if you happen to have a drink handy, then please take a sip for me. Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo and come back and see us at theintellution.com.
– Supreme Soul