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Cinco de Mayo: Legit Historical Holiday or Just an Excuse to Drink?

Living 2012/05/05 20:40:11
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Most Americans have no idea why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo. But that sure doesn’t stop them from enjoying the party!

Celebrations of the spring holiday are widespread and incredibly varied. They include pub crawls, ballet folklorico performances, street fairs, mariachi concerts, block parties, and specials on Mexican food and drinks. But they rarely include any reference to the original reason for the holiday—the 1862 Battle of Puebla, during which a small, Mexican army defeated the invading French forces of Napoleon III.

Interestingly, Cinco de Mayo is basically a non-event in Mexico. The historical battle is commemorated in Puebla, though not everywhere in the country. And it’s definitely not celebrated with the kind of drinking and debauchery that have led many in the U.S. to refer to the holiday as Cinco de Drinko or Drinko de Mayo.



So why do Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo with such fanfare?

Well, according to UCLA Professor David Hayes-Bautista, the celebration of Cinco de Mayo in the United States dates back to Latinos in the West during the American Civil War.

"It was all created in this country, by Latinos who supported freedom and racial equality and who were opposed to slavery, supremacy and the exclusion by government," he said.

"The news of the Mexican victory over the French Army in Puebla were celebrated, not only immediately after it happened, but every year during the Civil War. That is the origin of why we celebrate the Cinco de Mayo," added Hayes-Bautista.

However, since then, Americans have become incredibly disconnected from the origins of the event. Many confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican Independence Day, which takes place on September 16. These days, many Mexican-Americans use the holiday to showcase their ethnic identity, while many other Americans use the holiday as an excuse to get drunk and enjoy the nice weather.

What do you think SodaHeads? Is Cinco de Mayo a legit historical holiday or just an excuse to drink?

Read More: http://online.wsj.com/article/AP393b41297baf4cd48b...

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Top Opinion

  • harasnicole 2012/05/05 21:29:46
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    harasnicole
    +10
    I hear they don't even do anything down in Mexico. That it's just another day.

    hear mexico

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Opinions

  • Josh St... Keith 2012/05/06 08:35:55
    Josh Stephens
    +1
    I would celebrate cinco de mayo if Mexicans would stop illegally crossing our borders...
  • RoseyRhod Grady J... 2012/05/06 05:36:35
    RoseyRhod
    +2
    I don't think the querent was trying to insult anybody. In the United States, Cinco De Mayo tends to be used as a drinking holiday, the same way St. Patrick's Day does. St. Patrick's day is very different in Ireland. It's a religious holiday. But in the United States, people tend to use it as an excuse to get trashed.
  • Grady J... RoseyRhod 2012/05/06 05:50:34
    Grady Jellyneck
    +2
    All i am saying is that Cinco de mayo is a historical holiday. That is a fact. cinco de mayo was originally celebrated for a battle that took place, and generally Mexicans drink when celebrating(no offence to anyone), and if people in the united states wants to drink for no reason i dont see why cinco de mayo should get a bad reputation.
  • being me 2012/05/06 04:13:29
    Legit Historical Holiday
    being me
    +5
    I don't know if they do this any more but when I was in Elementary, Middle school and even High school, the teachers would discuss the history of Cinco De Mayo on that day and would bring in different foods to celebrate it.
  • RoseyRhod being me 2012/05/06 05:37:09
    RoseyRhod
    +2
    That's a nice way to celebrate it.
  • starlight 2012/05/06 04:13:16
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    starlight
    +1
    im mexican and we never celebrate it, so not a big deal.
  • Grady J... starlight 2012/05/06 06:24:44
    Grady Jellyneck
    +1
    so let me get this strait... just because your Mexican its no big deal?
  • DeCaf 2012/05/06 04:09:02
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    DeCaf
    +3
    Not a big deal in Mexico.
  • tebearc... DeCaf 2012/05/06 04:31:00
    tebearcalvary
    +4
    It's only really celebrate in Puebla, the town where the battle happened.
  • Jeh 2012/05/06 03:57:32
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    Jeh
    +1
    Hey any excuse to drink and have fun is good with me. And who knows, you might just learn something about Mexican Culture while pounding down Tequila and Margaritas.
  • bricknator 2012/05/06 03:53:46
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    bricknator
    +2
    Who celebrates cinco de mayo anyway?
  • being me bricknator 2012/05/06 15:16:52
    being me
    My neighbors did on the cul de sac behind me did all day yesterday and last night. Even had a bouncy house for the kids
  • bricknator being me 2012/05/06 17:43:54
    bricknator
    LOL, wasn't expecting that...

    Nevertheless, here in Mexico, it's just another day
  • being me bricknator 2012/05/06 18:15:07 (edited)
    being me
    Being born and raised in Texas , I realize that. But for some reason we here still celebrate it with a vengeance and love it.
  • bricknator being me 2012/05/06 18:29:06
    bricknator
    +1
    We remeber the battle, but not exactly with the same enthusiasm as we remember 16 de Septiembre, the date in which we gained independence from Spain
  • James harris 2012/05/06 03:53:38
    Legit Historical Holiday
    James harris
    +1
    Isnt it the mexican independence day or something? I know its the USA's get faded day!!!
  • JCLadybug 2012/05/06 03:39:18
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    JCLadybug
    +2
    Considering only one city in Mexico celebrates it ( the one where it has significance), I don't think it is a legit celebration in the US.
  • penguin66 2012/05/06 03:37:13
    Legit Historical Holiday
    penguin66
    +2
    People made it an excuse to drink. It is a REAL holiday for Mexico. Not Spain though. It was a battle between Mexico and Spain.... i think.... llol
  • JCLadybug penguin66 2012/05/06 03:43:41
    JCLadybug
    +1
    Only one city in Mexico celebrates it, it is mostly a non-event there.
  • bricknator penguin66 2012/05/06 03:53:00 (edited)
    bricknator
    +2
    NOBODY CELEBRATES CINCO DE MAYO down here, not even Puebla, where the battle between the Mexican and French army ocurred. Did you know the war actually started, because of... cakes?
  • penguin66 bricknator 2012/05/06 04:14:48
    penguin66
    +1
    That uhm... weird. And really? Half of texas celebrates it!!!
  • bricknator penguin66 2012/05/06 18:01:56 (edited)
    bricknator
    Texas is not Puebla, nor Mexico.

    And I've always wondered, why the hell does the US celebrate Cinco de Mayo, when frankly, no one here in Mexico does
  • penguin66 bricknator 2012/05/06 18:02:56
    penguin66
    Hahahahahahaha. That is weird huh?
  • bricknator penguin66 2012/05/06 18:14:24
    bricknator
    Yeah, but well, at least you know tha mexico exists, haha
  • Grady J... bricknator 2012/05/06 04:22:41
    Grady Jellyneck
    +2
    Ya no the war started because of how much in debt Mexico was to France. Plus Napoleon wanted to take over Mexico.
  • bricknator Grady J... 2012/05/06 17:59:11 (edited)
    bricknator
    The Pastry War, or "Guerra de los Pasteles" was caused by the raid of a french cake shop in Mexico City, the French Goverment requested that the Mexican Goverment pay all the damages, but because they refused, the war started. In the end the Mexican goverment promised to pay, but well, they didn't...

    The debt caused by the war ulimately led to the French Intervention, where the batlle of Puebla, the 5th of May of1862, took place. So putting the pieces together, such succulent cakes led to a war...

    And well, yes, Napoleon III had some interest in reviving a Mexican Empire, under the command of Maximilian I of Austria.
  • Beltazar bricknator 2012/05/06 15:37:18
    Beltazar
    Then Y don't they call it Cinco De Cake.. and how did Mayonnaise get involved,,, well, that is probably why they shorted to Mayo... cuz just doesn't sound right.. Cinceo De Mayonnaise...
  • penguin66 Beltazar 2012/05/06 17:04:07
    penguin66
    Cinco de Cake? That means cake the fifth. Mayo. With an accent mean May..... but, i have to admit, i laughed alittle when you did that
  • bricknator Beltazar 2012/05/06 18:00:10
    bricknator
    Mayo means May, not mayonnaise, LOL

    The battle of Puebla was the 5th of May of 1862.
  • Grady J... penguin66 2012/05/06 06:23:29
    Grady Jellyneck
    +2
    Mexico and France. But points for knowing it was a battle :P
  • bricknator Grady J... 2012/05/06 18:00:36
    bricknator
    True, :D
  • beckylee 2012/05/06 03:35:32
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    beckylee
    +1
    I imagine it probably was a legit historical holiday at one point
  • Beltazar 2012/05/06 03:32:26
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    Beltazar
    +2
    Cinco de Mayonnaise, is just an excuse to drink of course... Which I have no clue why anyone would want to party over Mayonnaise.. Hum... =~):
  • Catita 2012/05/06 02:56:53
    Legit Historical Holiday
    Catita
    +2
    maybe is not a big deal here, but for the raza is very much so.
  • L1 2012/05/06 02:46:37
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    L1
    +1
    Big time! Hence the ton of advertising from alcohol companies.
  • glass_butterfly ~YSU~ 2012/05/06 02:42:36
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    glass_butterfly ~YSU~
    +1
    I know a lot of Mexican Americans and they say it's not a real holiday to them. Like American's need another reason to get drunk! LOL
    I m done GIF
  • Texas Johnny 2012/05/06 02:36:56
    Just an Excuse to Drink
    Texas Johnny
    +1
    So the Mexicans beat the French at Puebla.. BFD! Everyone else has too!
  • Catita Texas J... 2012/05/06 03:01:12
    Catita
    +2
    hmmm....it was at that time! however don't look down at the Mexicans, they are proud of their heritage and culture.
  • les_gvt Catita 2012/05/06 04:31:05
    les_gvt
    +1
    If they are so proud, why do they keep fleeing it? why not try to fix what is wrong with their country, instead of bringing all their problems up here?
  • Texas J... Catita 2012/05/06 21:19:10
    Texas Johnny
    Should not jump to conclusions! I live right on the border for the last 25 years as a history teacher. El Paso is 85% Hispanic(Mostly Mexican decent) they see at as another reason for gringos(white folks) to drink Mexican beer and sing Mexican folk songs in very bad Spanish. Its a riot. No big celebrations on this side of the border, we know how minor the battle really was. The big celebration is the 16 of September, the Grito or call to Independence from Father Miguel Hildago at Dolores! That is their July 4th and everyone gets happy!

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2014/09/22 22:21:36

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