Saturday, May 05, 2012

Cinco De Mayo History

Usually, I just put up some pictures of tequila, shot glasses, or margaritas and say "ole." But I found one really interesting article that I feel is a must read about the origins of Cinco de Mayo that even I was not aware of. Although, I was not stupid enough about Mexican culture to believe that this is Mexico's Independence Day (which is September 16, by the way), I was of the firm belief that this was more an American holiday, and an attempt to utilize alcohol (especially beer) and attract a more Mexican audience to the beer culture, which based on this article, is actually true.

What I didn't know: During the American Civil War, Mexicans had sided with the Union and not with the Confederates. Also, the French were attempting to invade and control Mexico, which had only had a democratic government for probably 30 some years. The battle at Puebla on the 5th of May (hence, Cinco de Mayo) was when a ragtag group of Mexicans were able to withstand the French army's attempt to take over Puebla. The Mexicans at that time that lived in the United States (mostly in California, and oddly enough, northwestern states such as Oregon) were reading everything they could about the French and their attempt to invade and control Mexico (albeit, in their time, they would be reading things in the newspapers that were probably two to three weeks after the fact), and were excited about the battle and win over the French at Puebla. And that is how the Cinco de Mayo tradition began in the United States. The Mexicans in America at that time would celebrate regularly the victory at Puebla. And, lo and behold, a century later, the beer industry got into the act and started sponsoring Cinco de Mayo events.

I don't begrudge ANYONE finding an opportunity to pop open a brew ... but I did find this information interesting.

Here's another piece that further elaborates on the holiday, and even quotes the link I provided above.

Enjoy some music!

Flaco Jimenez - She Stole My Accordion (ok, you may have to look up Flaco) ... as I have noted on numerous occasions, Flaco was THE accordion guy on many, many records we know but just had no clue there was even an accordion part in the song, let alone, know it was FLACO!!!

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