Americans will celebrate anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s Super Bowl Weekend when you don’t watch football all year or St. Patrick’s Day when you’re not Irish, most Americans don’t need much of an excuse to throw a party.
Today is Cinco de Mayo, which translates to “Fifth of May” in Spanish, and marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The way that it is portrayed here in the U.S., you would think that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican Forth of July, but I can tell you from experience, it’s not.
My wife and were married on May 1st six years ago and we went to the Mayan Riviera for our honeymoon. On the fifth of May, we decided to take a collectiva—or taxi, up to Playa del Carmen to celebrate the holiday. We assumed there’d be drunk Mexicans shooting guns in the air and yelling, “Andale, Andale, Arriba, Arriba,” like Speedy Gonzalez. We were disappointed to find out that most Mexicans don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo like we do in here in the States.
Five years later, my wife and I went to San Francisco to celebrate our fifth year anniversary. We stayed in the Mission District, which is a predominantly Mexican area in San Francisco. I was excited to see if it would be different this time. When night rolled around we walked down to Mission Street, and there was absolutely nothing going on. We walked a few blocks further to a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant and it was packed—with gringos.
So to all you folks would plan on going out and getting, “drunk as a Mexican on Cinco de Mayo,” you may want to re-think your plans.
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