Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and it is also Cinco de Mayo! So I hope you had a safe and great week so far. It has been another hectic week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me.
So what do you know about Cinco de Mayo? Do you know why it is celebrated or how it was started? Well if not, today you will get your answers.
Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated nationwide in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is called El Dia de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). The date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride, and to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War.
In the state of Puebla, the date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. Contrary to widespread popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day — the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico — which is actually celebrated on September 16th.
Mexicans and Latinos living in California during the American Civil War are credited with being the first to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States
According to a paper published by the UCLA Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture about the origin of the observance of Cinco de Mayo in the United States, the modern American focus on that day first started in California in the 1860s in response to the resistance to French rule in Mexico. "Far up in the gold country town of Columbia (now Columbia State Park) Mexican miners were so overjoyed at the news that they spontaneously fired off rifles shots and fireworks, sang patriotic songs and made impromptu speeches."
A 2007 UCLA Newsroom article notes that "The holiday, which has been celebrated in California continuously since 1863, is virtually ignored in Mexico." TIME magazine reports that "Cinco de Mayo started to come into vogue in 1940s America during the rise of the Chicano movement." United Press International reports that "The holiday crossed over into the United States in the 1950s and 1960s but didn't gain popularity until the 1980s when marketers, especially beer companies, capitalized on the celebratory nature of the day and began to promote it."
Now you know why the day is so special and especially important here in south Florida. Hope you have a safe and great Cinco de Mayo!
Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.
big bear hug,