The misconception that Cinco de Mayo, May 5th is Mexican Independence Day needs to be corrected. Mexican Independence Day is observed on September 15th. May 5th is a holiday of the small or few overcoming the great or many. On May 5, 1862 four thousand Mexican soldiers defeated eight thousand of Napoleon’s French army. The victory of the Mexicans is said to be one of the main reasons that the Confederacy lost during the United States Civil War. If the French had won, they would have outfitted and fought alongside the Confederate Army and they could have caused the defeat of the Union Army. The Mexicans who won on May 5, 1862 ensured the Union Army of having over two years to worry about the French being able to send more support, soldiers and arms to the Confederacy.
So, on Cinco de Mayo try and celebrate our friendship and ties with our neighbor to the south of us, the great country of Mexico. Yes, I know that right now with swine flu seemingly originating in Mexico, the country is not so beloved. But, this too shall pass and the strong ties and loyalties that both Mexico and The United States of America share will perpetually endure.
By avoiding the crowds at the many neighborhood and municipal celebrations, one way to avoid getting the swine flu, how can we still commemorate Cinco de Mayo? First of all, we should all enjoy a tall, refreshing Margarita. If you don’t drink alcoholic beverages, you can make the recipe without the Tequila. For the party celebrants under the age of 21, making tacos, guacamole, burritos, tamales or any Mexican recipe at dinner will give honor to this fun and important day to celebrate! By serving up something typically Mexican, we stop and think about our friendship with our neighbors to the south, the Mexicans.