Category: Cinco De Mayo

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Cinco De Mayo 2012

Cinco De Mayo 2012, originally uploaded by Marina Castillo-Knuti.

Everything You Know About Cinco De Mayo Is Wrong

1 – Cinco de Mayo is Mexican Independence Day.

Wrong. Mexico declared independence on Sept 16, 1810.

2 – So what is Cinco de Mayo about?

It commemorates the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862. “Against all odds, the forces of freedom and democracy, embodied in the Mexican army, beat back the French forces of slavery and oligarchy,” says David Hayes-Bautista, Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA.

This was during the early days of the American Civil War (1861-1865), when things were not going well for the Union. When word of the Battle of Puebla reached California, which was on the Union side, “it sent a jolt of electricity amongst Latinos here,” says Hayes-Bautista. “For the first time since the guns had fired at Fort Sumter, it looked like maybe the forces of freedom and democracy could win,” and the battle became an inspiration for Union forces. The anniversary of the battle was commemorated in Los Angeles a year later, and Cinco de Mayo has been celebrated in the US ever since.

3 – But they celebrate it in Mexico too, right?

Nope. Throughout Mexico it’s pretty much business as usual, except in Puebla (about two hours by road southeast of Mexico City), where there’s a parade, a state fair, a recreation of the battle and more. This year, there are special observations in honor of the battle’s 150th anniversary. For more information, visit All About Puebla.

Various flavors of mole, for sale at a market in Puebla

4 – Mexicans eat tacos on Cinco de Mayo.

True, but, um, Mexicans might eat tacos any day.

Happy Cinco De Mayo

This is probably one of my all time favorite photos! I knew the second I took this it would be an amazing shot!