It’s like St. Patrick’s Day, but without the green beer. It’s what a national holiday looks like when it’s celebrated in another country by large groups of people, most of whom have at best a marginal tie to the Auld Sod or La Patria Hermosa.
In short, it’s an excuse for public revelry and the consumption of significant amounts of intoxicating beverages.
All well and good, that. The Other Texas is certainly not opposed to public revelry, and we flat LOVE watching folklórico dancing and listening to mariachi music (though like Molly said, these are private vices not discussed in polite company). Admittedly, we would prefer some discretion be exercised with the intoxicating beverages.
But please: Get the history straight.
Cinco de Mayo is not “Mexican Independence Day.” Never was, never will be. El Dia de la Independencia is actually Diez y Seis, the 16th of September. Many of the countries south of the border celebrate their independence within a couple of days either side of 09/16, so it’s usually referred to up here as “Fiestas Patrias.” There’s parades and everything for that, too. It’s a big deal from Texas on down into South America.
So if Cinco de Mayo isn’t Independence Day, what IS it and in honor of what are we getting borracho?