Every year Cinco de Mayo rolls around and every year I seem to have to Google the date and figure out why we are drinking. As drinking holidays go, and frankly they’re all drinking holidays aren’t they?, Cinco de Mayo is probably number three behind St Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve. I mean everybody who drinks consumes a little something something on Marathon Day (a beautiful hack holiday in Boston known as Patriot’s Day), Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Let’s be honest. But Cinco de Mayo is a fun holiday. A time to celebrate the Mexican myth of unyielding nice weather, endless cervezas and siestas. Sombreros and ponchos. Guacamole and salsa. Did I leave anything out? The reality is slightly more serious I would imagine. Drug cartels. Mass murder. Shaky Government. Poverty. A friend of mine marches down to Mexico each March without fear. Of course her whole family goes and they are safely ensconced in some relatively safe tourist community, but I don’t quite understand the draw. I’m not much for searing heat, but I’ll give you that. I would think Mexico has got to be giving folks second thoughts about visiting these days. Maybe all the trouble is confined to the U.S. Border, but I won’t be heading down any time soon myself. Who needs that kind of aggravation right? I think I’ll catch the last season of Eastbound and Down. If you’ve never seen HBO’s Eastbound and Down check it out. Totally politically incorrect, but laugh out loud funny in places. It would help if you like baseball, but it’s not a necessity. I can’t believe that show is either done or has one last season left. These cable channels can just go on and off the air whenever they feel like it I swear. It feels like the last episode of FX’s Rescue Me and or Sons of Anarchy was two years ago. I watch too much TV.
Regarding Cinco de Mayo I guess the official celebration stems from the Mexican Army’s victory in The Battle of Puebla over The French in 1862. Most folks think of Cinco de Mayo as the date of Mexico’s Independence, but apparently that date is September 16th. It’s an ironic celebration of sorts because about one year later The French Army apparently returned and captured Mexico City and took over. The French then occupied the territory until 1867 while the U.S. stopped fighting each other and rooted the French out for good. There’s much more history to this than I’m at liberty to pass along here, but suffice to say a David & Goliath type victory was once achieved by the Mexican Army and is still celebrated indirectly to this day. It has morphed into more of a Mexican-American cultural fantasy, but we’ll take what we can get. Pass the bucket of Coronas and don’t skimp on the lime please.
I don’t anything interesting or profound to add to this holiday that more Americans celebrate than actual Mexican natives (according to our friends at Wikipedia), but it is fun to ingest some tequila and a taco or two and start imagining those lazy hazy days of summer coming on. Me? I’m more of a Memorial Day guy…something about that long weekend…and the onset of my central air cocoon. If I want to venture out I will, but I do love my climate control. I didn’t find much in the way of Cinco de Mayo specific music to leave you with. I could have gone with any number of songs with Mexico or Mexican in the title, and I considered Herb Alpert, Richie Valens or even Los Lobos, but in the end I just grabbed the first five songs I could find. Hope you had a nice Margarita Day. Stay thirsty my friends.