Thursday, May 5, 2011

Feliz Cinqo de Mayo!

Cinqo de Mayo festivites at El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula, otherwise known as Los Angeles.

Today, May 5, is Cinqo de Mayo. Olé!

Cinqo de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day (that's September 16). It's a celebration of an unlikely victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The French occupation of Mexico was an aftermath of several wars that plagued Mexico: the Mexican-American War (1846-48), the Mexican Civil War (1858), and the Reform War (1860). The series of wars left Mexico nearly bankrupt. To alleviate the debt, Presidente Benito Juàrez suspended all foreign debt repayments for 2 years. In response to the suspension, Britain, France, and Spain sent their navies to Veracruz to demand payment. Britian and Spain eventually withdrew their navies, but not France. This set the stage for battles, ending in the victory at Puebla, a victory of 4,000 ill-equipped Mexicans over 8,000 superior fighting French.

Thiough it provided a morale boost, the victory of Cinqo de Mayo 1862 was not decisive, for shortly thereafter 30,000 French troops were dispatched and Mexico came under the rule of the French from 1864 until 1867. With the help of American forces, freed from fighting the American Civil War, Mexico was finally able to repel the French. This French incursion into Mexico represents the last time Europe invaded a nation in the New World.

Ever since living in SoCal, I've continued to celebrate Cinqo de Mayo with my family. Usually we celebrate a day later because that's my birthday. And we celebrate with food: Mexican meatloaf (my invention- a meatloaf made with Ortega chilis, salsa, and a mixture of meats), or tacos, salsa and chips, fajitas, guacamole and chips, flan (lots of flan), and of course margaritas by the pitcher. If I could make sopapillas, I'd have them too, but crullers are a good enough substitute.

So Feliz Cinqo de Mayo to everyone.

Sock update: I have it on good authority my sock is at El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula, the historic pueblo in downtown Los Angeles, enjoying some tequila with Dos Equis chasers. It'll be a looong while before it slogs back home, I'm guessing.


sapphireblue said...

Time for some good food!

fleegle said...

I was wondering what that drunken sock was doing at the festival. It poured a bottle of tequila into its heel and proceed to dance until it dropped. Wonder how long it will take to sober up?