Felicidados Cinco de Mayo mi amigas y amigos. Today is one of my favourite days of the year, when I an my Mexican brothers and sisters (no, Im not actually Mexican, but I really like to pretend I am) celebrate the anniversary of a historic day in Mexican history.
On May 5th, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragosa led a small battalion of 4000 brave soldiers to a victory over Napolean's much larger French brigade of nearly 8000 men at La Batella de Puebla. This victory was key to holding off French occupation of not only Mexico, but Texas as well. The French would have most assuredly turned their attention to the North. As such, Cinco de Mayo is actually more popular in the U.S. than it is in Mexico. Mexican Independence Day is September 16th. I have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo in one way or another for over 20 years after I heard a local radio host had been doing the same for some years. My Cinco de Mayo celebrations have varied in size and scope depending on the day the holiday falls on. Food (tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, quesadillas, empanadas, tamales, churros) and drink (cervesas, margaritas, tequila) are always central components of the merriment. In past years, I challenged myself to try a new recipe. One year it was flautas and another featured molé chicken. Mexican music, decorations (including a pinata fir the kids on a couple of occasions) and brightly colored clothing have also been important elements. I happen to be the proud owner of a pink and gold luchador mask. When I don the mask I am simply known as Sénor Rawhead. I've had the good fortune of visiting Mexico on two separate occasions, but have been in love with the culture for most of my life. Simply put, es muy bueno!
So please join me if you are willing and able to raise a glass and shout "Salud!" to the memory of General Zaragosa and his brave men.
Next up La Dia de Los Meurtos (The Day of the Dead) which runs over couple of days right after Halloween.