Until about 5 minutes ago, I thought Cinco De Mayo was a holiday to celebrate the invention of the pinata. Or tequila. Or those make-you-wanna-kill-yourself hangovers that only come from a full day of drinking tequila. What? That’s pretty much what the holiday means to most college students, right?
When someone hands you a pint of Jose at 8 am on May 5th, you don’t ask what you’re celebrating – you put on a sombrero, plug your nose and take a swig. Then you do it again and again and again, screaming “Viva La Mexico!” and “I’m living la vida drunk-a” until the sun goes down and another fantastic drinking holiday has come to an end.
But I was wrong. There is no holiday celebrating the birth of the pinata (though I think we should start some sort of online petition to get one going), nor is Cinco De Mayo a 24 hour celebration in honor of Jose Cuervo. Cinco De Mayo happens to be a somewhat important day in Mexican history to commemorate the day in 1862 that the Mexican army defeated a much stronger and better-equipped French army.
It also happens to be a minor holiday in Mexico, pretty much only celebrated in the region where this battle went down. And they don’t even celebrate with cocktails.
I’m not sure how it turned into such a drunk fest up here in the US of A and I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate it (because any opportunity to get rowdy all day long must be taken), but maybe we should think about the history a little bit as we’re downing a Tequila Sunrise over breakfast. Maybe we should pour one for our Mexican homies for overcoming their enemies. And maybe we should toast our margaritas to Mexico tomorrow for more than being a great Spring Break destination and the ground zero of the Swine Flu.
So here’s to Mexico! Regardless of all that Swine stuff, we still love ya!