A lot of people, including college students, think that Cinco de Mayo just is another excuse to party. Some forget what the day is really about. On May 5, 1862, the French Army marched a long distance to the hills around the Mexican city of Peubla. It was there that the Mexican army defended two fortified positions and repelled French forces.
Some brief research seems to indicate that, for the most part, the holiday is nearly as contrived as its Irish counterpart, St. Patrick’s Day. Prevailing opinion would show that the fifth of May is Mexican Independence Day, perhaps due to the similar ring to the Fourth of July. However, Cinco de Mayo has nothing to do with Mexican independence, which is celebrated on Sept. 16.
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo has become increasingly popular along the United States-Mexico border and in parts of the U.S. that have a high population of people with Mexican heritage. In these areas the holiday is a celebration of Mexican culture, food, music, beverage and unique Mexican customs.
Commercial interests in the United States and Mexico have also had a hand in promoting the holiday, with products and services focused on Mexican food, beverages, festivities and music, which is now playing a more visible role.
Several cities throughout the United States hold parades and concerts during the week prior to May 5, so that Cinco de Mayo has become a bigger holiday north of the border than it is to the south, and has become adopted into the holiday calendar of more and more people every year.
Just because it is Cinco de Mayo, that doesn’t mean it is an excuse to get crazy. Make sure to get a designated driver for those who plan on hitting the bars to celebrate. Try throwing a Mexican party with lots of food and dancing to help celebrate the culture in order to avoid the crowds at the bars.
Nicole Scotto, junior, said, “A good way to celebrate is not to rule out having a good time, but have all your friends make a Mexican meal to become more aware of the culture.”
Serve a platter with Mexican appetizers such as quesadillas, chimichangas or queso fundido (a melted Mexican cheese fondue) all considered authentic alternatives to chips and salsa. A main course of tacos and enchiladas is perfect for Cinco de Mayo. Indulge guests with sopes; a thick tortilla-like sandwich prepared with guacamole, lettuce, tomato, onions and chicken or steak. Finally, add festive pi¤atas and mariachi music for non-stop singing and dancing all night long and wear your favorite Mexican outfit.
Susie Germak, a sophomore spanish minor said, “I think it’s a good day to celebrate considering the number of Americans that are of Mexican descent or have moved here from there. I personally hope to celebrate it because of my love for the Spanish language. A fiesta is always fun!