Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition

Just what is Cinco de Mayo?
Well, here's what most Americans know: it's a celebration of all things Mexican, Mexican music, salsa, chips, sombreros and beer.

And one thing Cinco de Mayo is not,  Mexico's Independence Day, that's on September 16th.

It's hardly celebrated in Mexico, except in the state of Puebla, where there was a short-lived 1862 military victory over the French.

In Texas ballet folklorico dancers will be dancing and New York City will close parts of Spanish Harlem and Queens for Mexican street fairs.

Cinco de Mayo is more about Coronas, Dos Equis XX and tequila than history, but that's okay.

Even though Cinco de Mayo commemorates the 1862 battle between the Mexican soldiers and the French forces, beer companies have taken over.

The story of Cinco de Mayo may be lost to advertisers who sell a lot of beer, (Cinco de Mayo is now the second largest beer consuming day of the year just behind St. Patrick's Day) it is nevertheless a celebration.

And so with heavy marketing campaigns promoting the Cinco de Mayo, which includes dancing, eating and especially drinking, people embrace this holiday, even though they have no idea what it's about.
But who cares as long as the beer keeps flowing.