Image from Vecteezy
May 5th is Cinco de Mayo, the yearly anniversary of Mexico’s defeat of the French Empire in the Battle of Puebla back in 1862. While in Mexico, this day is only really recognized in Puebla, in the USA, it has morphed into a big, commercial celebration.
Why is it such a big celebration in the USA?
It began back in the 60s, when Mexican-American activists started to raise awareness of this historic event to honor their heritage, and bridge the gap between the two cultures. Cities with large Mexican-American communities subsequently started to commemorate the date with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing, and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano.
According to The New York Times, since 1989, the date has become more commercial as a result of US importers of Mexican beer brands pouring resources into its promotion. However, over time there has been some confusion around the significance of these celebrations, with people mistakenly believing May 5th to be the anniversary of Mexico gaining independence from Spain, which is actually on September 16th.--DOMESTIKA.
"Does history have a border? That is the question at the heart of Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, a holiday that symbolizes Mexico's fight for autonomy, even as it's come to be associated with sales and cervezas and margaritas in the U.S. Cinco de Mayo is part of a much deeper story of two nations — Mexico and the U.S. — trying to define themselves at a time when old empires were crumbling and borders were in flux. A story that culminated in a revolution in Mexico that was at the forefront of a worldwide movement against predatory capitalism and foreign domination. So in this episode, we're going back to the first Cinco de Mayo and exploring how it helped shape the future on both sides of the border."--NPR Podcasts.
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