When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Cinco de Mayo

What’s with Cinco de Mayo, anyways? Corporate advertisers treat it as the de facto Mexican Day, if not Latino Day, in this country. In 1998, the United States Post Office issued a Cinco de Mayo stamp featuring two folklórico dancers. In 2005, Congress passed a resolution making Cinco de Mayo an official national holiday to celebrate Mexican-American heritage. And it’s customary for presidents to celebrate Cinco de Mayo on the White House lawn with margaritas flowing, mariachi music playing, and dancers in brightly colored traditional costumes.
Don’t they all know that Mexican Independence Day is actually September 16? Growing up in rural Zacatecas, Mexico, in the early 1970s, holidays and festivities were big community-building affairs. I attended fiestas with tamborazo-style band music, rodeos with churros showing off their roping and riding skills, and the religious procession honoring the town’s patron saint. What I remember most, though, was El Grito, the traditional cry of “Viva Mexico!” to commemorate Mexico’s independence … Continue reading When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Cinco de Mayo