¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

In the United States we celebrate Cinco de mayo as a day-long happy hour. Parties are fun, but let’s look at the story behind May 5th. In the 1862 Battle of Puebla, the Mexican Army triumphed over the invading French Empire; it was a lot like David and Goliath. No one expected them to win against the French better-supplied, larger forces; 4000 Mexican soldiers beat 8000 French. Empires can be defeated.

This holiday commemorates winning the battle, although they lost the war. Mexican-Americans in California have celebrated since 1863. I admire this eternal optimism, glass half-full approach to life. Their faith was warranted, in 1866 Mexico kicked the French out for good. So, although it is not Mexican Independence, the holiday is a rallying cry, a Remember the Alamo with a positive twist. Unexpectedly, May 5th is celebrated less in Mexico than it is in the US.

For Chicanos in the United States, Cinco de mayo has been a celebration of Mexican heritage. Beginning in California 157 years ago and spreading nationwide, festivals with traditional dances and music honor the day. In a show of strength this vibrant display proves again each year that Mexican-American culture is alive and well.

Mexican Man in a Sombrero and Charro Jacket      Photo Credit: Rebecca Cuningham

So, go ahead and raise your glass to the red, white and green flag. ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Take this day to celebrate your successes on the path to your goal. The day you kicked the habit, the day you met your fitness objective, the day you walked instead of drove. Savor the sweetness, even if you fell down the next day and the day after. Like Mexico, in the end, you will regain your independence, find your sweet spot, learn how to be a closer approximation of yourself. ¡Viva México!, and long live you!

Gracias for reading Fake Flamenco! Olé! –Rebecca

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Mexicana Performing the Jarana Traditional Folk Dance, with a Tray on Her Head   Photo credit: Rebecca Cuningham


Rebecca Cuningham

8 thoughts on “¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

  1. We live in a wonderfully mixed neighborhood where Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in daylong feasts with live music. Our next door neighbors have the best time well into the evening with all ages participating

    Liked by 1 person

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