Have You Started Drinking Yet?
It’s been repeated and publicized and, thank goodness, completely ignored every year by revelers and party lovers alike: Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s independence day. But who cares?
Historically, the date marks a Mexican rag-tag army’s victory over the French in 1862. They called it the Battle of Puebla, where the drinking and the singing and the dancing goes on stronger than most places in Mexico.
Some say it helped the U.S. close the deal on the Civil War. Others that the defeat humiliated Napoleon III. And there’re those who think this should be considered an American celebration, who knows why.
The Mexican and the U.S.’s cultures are so entwined for so long that we forget that the Margarita, the tacos – at least the version we get free at most bars today – and some kind of nachos are all, if not American, a mixture of both cuisines. But who’s in this for historical accuracy, gourmet cooking or exotic drinks?
Actually, take everything else away but the drinking and most carousers will be just as happy. So, if you’re reading this, you’re already wasting precious time. I don’t know how you’re going to explain this later, but if there’s a time to have a helada with some hot sausa, this is it.
So go out and enjoy the day. We should have a St. Patrick’s Day-kind of holiday (without parades, please) at least once a month, anyway. So in May, it’s definitely Cinco de Mayo. We’re accepting suggestions for the following months.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN 5/5/2010