Saturday:) Cinco de Mayo

6 May

“Is it really necessary to adopt another country’s holiday just to have an excuse to drink tequila? You don’t need one the other 364 days of the year.”

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Last year, I was drinking margaritas alone in my kitchen.

This year, I invited a few friends over for margaritas, sangria and snacks.

Friends don’t let Mexican friends drink alone on Cinco de Mayo.

Who could be knocking at my door?

As is my tradition, I made enough food and had enough drinks for the entire Mexican army. So, after our little gathering, my friend, Linda Grossman, world’s greatest realtor, and I took two big bags of chips, salsa, queso, roasted corn salsa, cookies, and brownies over to our new Fire Station 9. (No margaritas) I did make enough food for an army. With no army around, the fire station was the next best place to share our Cinco de Mayo feast.

There are still many people, even here in Texas that don’t know the history of Cinco de Mayo. No, it’s not Mexican Independence Day. But, it has become a good excuse to drink margaritas and eat Mexican food. Nothin’ wrong with that…

Cinco de Mayo, (Spanish: “Fifth of May”), also called Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, holiday celebrated in parts of Mexico and the United States in honour of a military victory in 1862 over the French forces of Napoleon III.

[P1]

Women performing a traditional Mexican dance at a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Los Angeles, 2002.

Kevork Djansezian/AP

[ML1]

When in 1861 Mexico declared a temporary moratorium on the repayment of foreign debts, English, Spanish, and French troops invaded the country. By April 1862 the English and Spanish had withdrawn, but the French, with the support of wealthy landowners, remained in an attempt to establish a monarchy under Maximilian of Austria and to curb U.S. power in North America. On May 5, 1862, a poorly equipped mestizo and Zapotec force under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated French troops at the Battle of Puebla, southeast of Mexico City; about 1,000 French troops were killed. Although the fighting continued and the French were not driven out for another five years, the victory at Puebla became a symbol of Mexican resistance to foreign domination. The city, which was later renamed Puebla de Zaragoza, is the site of a museum devoted to the battle, and the battlefield itself is maintained as a park.

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