Happy Cinco de Mayo!
We at Tabanero Cigars wish you a fun and safe day as you celebrate our neighbor Mexico. How did this day come about, what is it really, and is it cultural approbation?
1. Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican Independence Day.
The day Mexico celebrates its independence is September 16. On that morning in 1810 Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hildago, from the small town of Dolores, rang the church bell together the people. Sounds a little like the Paul Revere story, or maybe Quasimodo in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, either way it too is a great story. Hildago gave them a rousing speech calling them to revolt against the Spanish. This event is known as The Cry of Dolores and is cited as the beginning of the revolution.
The actual Independence was won and then ratified on September 28, 1821.
2. Cinco de Mayo was actually the day that the Battle of Puebla took place in 1862.
Yes, that is over 40 years after Mexico won its independence from Spain. The Battle of Puebla wasn’t even fought against the Spanish. It was the French! Napoleon the Third -no, not that Napoleon – invaded Puebla Mexico because Mexico owe them money. Well, that and the French wanted a foothold in North America and their strategy to support the Confederate movement in the United States.
The truth is the Mexican forces lost the battle of Puebla. But the Valiant efforts of so few Mexicans against so many French was a focal point. It’s similar to the story of Leonidas and the 300 Spartans. Certainly, it is a story worth remembering and celebrating.
3. In Mexico Cinco de Mayo is not even celebrated.
Shocker – right? It seems that Cinco de Mayo is mostly an American – make that the upper part of North American- holiday. Outside of Puebla, and basically California in general, no one really celebrated the day. That changed a little during the 60’s as a movement in the U.S. began to recognize the contributions of Latinos. It changed a lot in the 80’s when the company that manufactures and sells Corona beer launched a marketing promoting Cinco De Mayo as a holiday to drink Mexican beer. Which brings us to –
4. Corona is not a Mexican, entirely.
Ok, so we admit that’s a bit of a stretch. Corona was founded in Mexico in 1925, but its recipe is a German pilsner and it was brewed by German immigrants. So, it really is a Mexican beer, but it, like most beers has a strong German connection. Which brings us to our finally issue –
5. Is Cinco De Mayo an approbation of the Mexican culture?
Answering this question is beyond the scope of our modest little blog. However, it is something to think about while you enjoy a fine hand-made cigar from Tabanero. Better yet, come down to see us in Ybor and join a discussion on the topic.
And whichever way you choose to celebrate, please do so safely and may we honor our neighbors to the south with due respect.
P.S. Here are some authentic Mexican recipes to help you enjoy the day.