Living in Texas you’d think I can describe in detail what Cinco de Mayo means. And you’d be right, but not because I learned it here, I Googled it. If you ask a non-Hispanic Texan what it means, you’ll likely get the right answer, the fifth of May.
But if you ask him, why the Mexicans celebrate it, he’s apt to beat you with his ten gallon hat. See, everyone is allowed to equally celebrate the invention of Tacos by a senorita named Margarita.
If you ask the same question of a Hispanic Texan, say from El Salvador or Guatemala, you’ll probably get, “How the heck do I know, I’m not Mexican.”
You must go to the source. And sadly, it’ll probably be the wrong answer.
It is not Mexican Independence Day.
After the Mexican-American war, Mexico entered a civil war from 1858-1861, without the tourist trade or Pollo Loco that pretty much wiped them out. They borrowed a heap of pesos from England, Spain, and France, among others. In 1862 the three bandidos came to collect, Mexico offered them vouchers, (these have been replaced by the ‘all-inclusive’ bracelet). England and Spain, drunk on cerveza and pretty senoritas went on home, but the wine loving French ‘no quiero-ed’ the IOU and declared war. Thus the battle of Puebla, the French got their butts kicked yet again on North American soil and the Mexicans invented guacamole in their honor.
I’m getting back to it as soon as I finish this bottle of Tequila!