One would think that news outlets would occasionally use Google or even Wikipedia to confirm their history, yet, sadly, no. Sunday night, as I was watching the WXYZ-Detroit news coverage of the Mexicantown Cinco de Mayo Parade it was reported that the parade commemorated
Mexico’s Independence Day. NO! NO! NO! Apparently, they could’ve just read one of their own publications (featuring some of my favorite Mexicantown eateries) that makes it very clear!
Here in the US – Cinco de Mayo has become of symbol of Mexican Heritage; a day that Hispanic communities throughout the United States celebrate with parades, folkloric dance, and cultural festivals. I was thrilled to see my amiga, who grew up in SW Detroit, is continuing her family’s passion for dance with her children (featured in the photos). Mexican restaurants have really capitalized on this holiday, much like St. Patrick’s Day, marketing to Anglo-Americans with tequila specials & fiestas.
In Mexico – Cinco de Mayo is a national holiday to commemorate the Battle of Puebla in 1862. Kids are off of school and government offices are closed. (Think President’s Day or Labor Day in comparison.) The only place where this day is celebrated with any pomp or circumstance is in the city of Puebla. This battle took place between the ill-prepared Mexican army who were victorious against Napoleon’s army.
So spread the word, especially to your drunken friends and media outlets who didn’t take time to hit wikipedia before they go on the air!
P.S. Mexico’s Independence Day is actually on September 16th, although it is celebrated the night of September 15th with a reenactment of the “Grito de Independencia” where you will hear the country join their elected officials in a resounding “¡Viva México!” & enjoy street parties with fireworks.