THE TRUTH ABOUT "CINCO DE MAYO"
Well todays "Cinco de Mayo" so here's a few facts that people should know about this Mexican Holiday!
The biggest Misconception about Cinco de Mayo:
The most common misconception is that "Cinco de Mayo" is the day Mexico Celebrates it's independence. No, Wrong! Actually Mexico Celebrates it's independence on September 16.
The Truth about "Cinco de Mayo!"
Cinco de Mayo, meaning "the Fifth of May," is a Mexican Holiday celebrating the Battle of Puebla, which took place on May 5, 1862. In 1861, France sent a massive army to invade Mexico, as they wanted to collect on some war debts. The French army was much larger, better trained and equipped than the Mexicans struggling to defend the road to Mexico City. It rolled through Mexico until it reached Puebla, where the Mexicans made a valiant stand, and, against all logic, won a huge victory. It was short-lived, as the French army regrouped and continued; eventually taking Mexico City, but the euphoria of an unlikely victory against overwhelming odds is remembered every May fifth.
Another fact is that "Cinco de Mayo" is more widely celebrated in America than it actually is in Mexico, haha, crazy huh?
This was during the US Civil War. France had hopes of gaining greater influence in Mexico so it could assist the Confederacy by providing a way for European goods to be transported past the Union naval blockade and exchanged with the South, where nearly all manufactured goods (like sewing needles) became very scarce during the war. The Mexican victory was regarded as a significant 'win' for the Union. Today the holiday is popular in the US, very much driven by the marketing of the folks that sell tequila and cerveza. :) The largest Cinco de Mayo celebration is in Los Angeles, CA.
I remember receiving some long-winded email explaining how on the sunken Titanic there was a large shipment of mayonnaise destined for New York then Mexico City and that deprived Mexicans honored this lost shipment as the 'sinko de mayo'. A horrible pun indeed :(
Classic joke... I may have told it about 10-15 times today. I just found this online in case anyone was curious: Sinko de Mayo is truly a day to celebrate. Few people have come to know the “true” story of the origin of Sinko de Mayo. It is my pleasure to set the record straight.A little known fact is that back in 1912, Hellmann’s mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for delivery in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in New York. This would have been the largest single shipment of mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico but as we know, the great ship did not make it to New York.The ship hit an iceberg and sank and the cargo was forever lost. The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise and were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the loss. Their anguish was so great, that they declared a National Day of Mourning which they still observe to this day. The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and is known, of course as Sinko de Mayo. Go out on this day grab a couple of slices of Wonderbread and a jar of Hellman’s mayonnaise and have a party.
lol, I was just about to post that joke because I have heard it too. In fact, I did post it. Then I actually looked at the rest of the discussion! :P
I didn't, and neither did my friend from Mexico. Both of us had assumed it was Mexican Independence Day. Neither do I know what is being celebrated on Boxing Day, or Rosh Hashanah.
Thank you to the Daemeion for the knowledge :)
Considering it's become an American holiday, no, the rest of the world probably does not know this. Myself included.
I did know about the origins of Cinco de Mayo, but I attribute that to having grown up in the Greater Los Angeles Empire.
In my humble little world, however, I've compared Cinco de Mayo to St. Patrick's Day for a few reasons:
1. Both days have become, in the US, a day to celebrate ancestry.
2. Both days have more significance to the US than they do to their original countries.
Ok, so some people just look at them as excuses to have a few beers, but I look at it as a celebration of who we all are. Irish-American history and Mexican-American history ARE American history. The world is a better place when we celebrate our commonalities, not our differences.
Of course, I've said many times that I'll celebrate anyone's holidays if it involves good food. :D
My history teacher actually showed us that article today. It's interesting how the American media portrays the holiday.
ha! I finally know somebody whom also knew this! weird huh? I wish I could actually express this to my class (like you did in this discussion) :)
Almost every time I read an informational article of Cinco de Mayo, they always say quite clearly that Cinco de Mayo is not revolution day.
I always loved the fact that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican-American holiday, which celebrates their contribution to the United States. It's not "us vs. them"--it's "all of us together."
Well it looks like us v them if you consider them as the Confederates and the French!
On a serious note, I also remember hearing that the Monroe Doctrine, which was a foreign policy declaration about the further colonization of Latin America by European powers could not be enforced by the US during the Civil War. Here is a passage from the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine
"In 1862, French forces under Napoleon III invaded and conquered Mexico, giving the country to Austrian-born Emperor Maximilian. Americans proclaimed this as a violation of "The Doctrine," but were unable to intervene because of the American Civil War. This marked the first time the Monroe Doctrine was widely referred to as a "doctrine." After the civil war came to an end, the U.S. brought troops down to the Rio Grande in hopes of pressuring the French government to end its occupation. Mexican nationalists eventually captured the Emperor and executed him, reasserting Mexico's independence."
And why did they invade in the first place? On July 17, 1861 Benito Juárez told Mexico's main creditors: England, Spain, and France that it could not repay its debts. Three months later on October 31, 1861 those three signed the Treaty of London in order to exert collective force on Mexico in order to receive payment. Spanish fleets arrived in Veracruz on December 8, 1861, but the British and Spanish decided to cease their involvement once they found out France's real intentions to conquer Mexico. On April 8, 1862 they decided to withdraw and the last British and Spanish troops left on April 24, 1862. This left the French alone in their campaign to move on from Veracruz to Puebla (May 5, 1862) and to later seize Mexico City (June 7, 1863). This seems to be a historical repeat of Hernán Cortés' initial defeat when attacking Tenochtitlan in 1519, then his later triumph 2 years later in 1521. It took the French another year after their defeat at Puebla to finally take Mexico City. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_intervention_in_Mexico
Unfortunately, there is a "we told you so" part about the French intervention. In 1859, the McLane-Ocampo Treaty failed to pass in the "bitterly divided Senate" (sound too familiar?). This potential agreement between the US and Mexico would have relieved some of the financial burden of Juárez's government and would have kept Mexico's European creditors out of Mexico. A disappointed James Buchanan, made these remarks on December 3, 1860:
"European governments would have been deprived of all pretext to interfere in the territorial and domestic concerns of Mexico. We should have thus been relieved from the obligation of resisting, even by force, should this become necessary, any attempt of these governments to deprive our neighboring republic of portions of her territory, a duty from which we could not shrink without abandoning the traditional and established policy of the American people.” Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_intervention_in_Mexico
I've been living in Mexico City for the past 5 years. There isn't really any celebration at all in the capital. It is a day off from public school school, though. In offices and banks it isn't really a day off, though this year many people took advantage of making an extended weekend because of the holiday on Thursday, May 1 (International Labor Day). In the State and city of Puebla, the Battle of Puebla is obviously a source of pride for people there. The Mexican general who defended Puebla, Ignacio Zaragoza, was honored with his image as well as the Cathedral of Puebla on the former 500-peso bank notes, which following the Bank of Mexico's decision in 2010 have since been replaced by the images of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. (Perhaps French tourists to Mexico were offended just like they were when they used to arrive at Waterloo train station in London) Source (Zaragoza/Cathedral):http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-i8YNXAOFm-A/TxsauOTw4KI/AAAAAAAAAGI/2e2gDXNM0FA/s1600/21624122.jpg Source (Diego/Frida):http://wandamann.typepad.com/.a/6a00e553bc02c9883301348691f5a7970c-pi
De echo en mexico no es una gran festividad, pero aca en Estados Unidos lo celebran en grande!! Just marketing! Lol
I'm pretty sure that it's celebrated in america just to give people an excuse to get drunk, most people here don't even know why cinco de mayo is celebrated, yet they celebrate it