Celebrate Cinco de Mayo With Safety!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! If you’re not of Mexican heritage, today might just seem like a day to enjoy margaritas and tacos, but Cinco de Mayo actually has an important place in Mexican history. Before hitting up your favorite Mexican restaurant tonight, learn a little bit about the holiday you’ll be celebrating — and remember to follow some basic safety tips if you’re planning to enjoy some margaritas or Coronas!
What Is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, commemorates a stunning victory by the Mexican army over France in 1862. The French army was far more advanced than the Mexican army, with better equipment and more manpower. However, at the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862, the Mexican forces, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated the French forces. It was an incredibly inspirational win for the Mexicans, and incredibly humiliating for the French. The French did go on to win a second battle against the Mexican forces, and managed to push onward to Mexico City, where they overtook the government. Still, the Battle of Puebla remains a monumental victory for Mexico.
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo is not the same day as Mexican Independence Day. Mexican Independence Day, commemorating the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence, falls on September 16th. Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico, and is not celebrated in Mexico like it is in heavily Mexican-American areas of the United States. Cities like San Antonio, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, and Phoenix have some of the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations.
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo
Cinco de Mayo usually consist of parades and parties. Events often feature traditional Mexican music and dancing. Like St. Patrick’s Day, it’s another holiday that started with significance for a certain culture, but has really become a major drinking holiday. In fact, Cinco de Mayo, along with St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Super Bowl Sunday, has the honor of being one of the “drunkest holidays.”
Since the day often involves drinking, it’s important to stay safe. If you plan to drink, have a safe ride home, and never drive if you’ve been drinking. Call a cab or Uber instead of making a terrible choice! Be careful on the roads and watch for drunk or reckless drivers. Enjoy the food and culture on Cinco de Mayo, but remember to respect the culture and celebrate safely!
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