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Monday, May 5, 2014

Why is Cinco De Mayo So Important?



A lot of people wonder why is Cinco de Mayo so important to us in the United States? After all, it is a Mexican holiday; so there must be a compelling reason why Americans celebrate this holiday more widely than do people in Mexico. There are a few different historical and cultural reasons for this and in this article, we'll give you a little background on why a foreign holiday has become one of the most popular celebrations in the United States.
First, let us cover the historical events, which are the basis of the holiday. Cinco de Mayo means "Fifth of May" in Spanish and the holiday commemorates the events of May 5th, 1862 when the Battle of Puebla took place. Despite what many people seem to think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day, but instead celebrates the victory of the Mexican army under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza over the French at Puebla, despite overwhelming odds.
The Battle of Puebla was one of the first major battles of the Franco-Mexican War (also known as the Maximilian Affair, after the Hapsburg prince who Napoleon III intended to install as ruler of Mexico) and the victory proved to be an inspiration to the entire nation, who fought on fiercely for the next five years, finally expelling the French in 1867. The French seized on Mexico's moratorium on making interest payments on debts owed to France as an excuse to conquer the country, sparking a conflict which bogged the French army down for the next several years.
Which brings us to one of the answers to the question of why is Cinco de Mayo so important to Americans; the Maximilian Affair and the US Civil War were going on at the same time. At the time, France was allied with the southern states in the Civil War; and due to the intensity of the resistance they encountered in Mexico, they were unable to support their confederate allies. As a result, the US Civil War may have been shortened.
After the end of the Civil War, the US gave valuable support to Mexico in their struggle against the French, sending supplies to the Mexican army and setting up a naval blockade to prevent the French from bringing in additional troops and supplies - some Americans even volunteered to fight the French invaders alongside the Mexicans! These historic ties are one reason we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the US. Another thing to remember is that parts of Texas and California were once part of Mexico and have long standing cultural ties to the country.
Finally, Cinco de Mayo really took off as an American holiday starting in the 1960s, when the holiday was promoted as a day to celebrate America's own Latino community. Of course, no one loves a party more than Americans do, so between the food, drink, fun and our close ties to our southern neighbor, Cinco de Mayo has become a day of celebration on both sides of the border.
Mexican food uses lots of fresh, tropical fruits. If you like this recipe, take a look at some of the delicious fruit dishes you can make from Mexico. Plan now for your Cinco de Mayo food. Why not enjoy some tropical delicacies while you celebrate?
MexicanDessertRecipes.net The Sweet Side of Mexican Food


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