Saturday, May 05, 2012

Obligatory Cinco De Mayo Reality Check

The fifth of May is, for most Americans, an excuse to drink beer, especially Corona. But for Mexicans, especially those in the state of Puebla, Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican army's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on this day in 1862. Most "gringos" assume it's the Mexican independence day, when in fact it is not. In fact, it's not even a national holiday, and is only a state holiday in Puebla. But this weekend, even patrons at Irish pubs have an excuse to pretend they are Mexicans.

And it was only a few weeks ago that they were all pretending to be Irish.

For today and tomorrow, Mexican-Americans in cities across the United States will have their own celebrations (like the one in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the photo above). So what was once a minor holiday is now a really big deal, because it's a great excuse for beer makers and bartenders to cash in on the action, and to party.

The same thing happened to Chanukkah, except the Jews manage to keep that for themselves. Well played, sons of Israel, well played.

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