So, you’ve got your tickets, booked your hotel room, made your Cozumel scuba diving reservations with ScubaLuis and packed your suitcase. You are officially ready to get to Cozumel, shoot some tequila and “par-tay” for Cinco de Mayo because there have to be a ton of ‘must-see’ events and celebrations in Cozumel.
After all, Cinco de Mayo IS one of the biggest holidays in Mexico, right?
We’re sorry to tell you, but your neighbor’s taco party back home will probably be more exciting than the fiestas you will find in Cozumel. Below are 7 facts about Cinco de Mayo that you might not likely know about this otherwise low-key Mexican holiday:
- Although this is the most popular misconception, Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day (called El Grito de Independencia). El Grito is celebrated on September 16th to commemorate the defeat of Spanish forces ending the Mexican War of Independence.
- Cinco de Mayo is the anniversary of the unlikely military victory over the French. In hopes of collecting on old debts, the French sent a huge, well-armed and well-trained army to conquer the Mexicans. Just outside the town of Puebla, however, the Mexican forces had other ideas. Although they were woefully outnumbered, 2 to 1, out-trained and had very poor equipment, the Mexicans defeated the French on May 5, 1862. The fact that the French returned two years later and defeated the Mexicans at Puebla then went on to take Mexico City and install the emperor Maximilian I is largely forgotten or ignored.
- Cinco de Mayo is bigger outside of Mexico than inside. Unless you are in or near the city of Puebla, the grounds of the infamous battle, this holiday just seems to pass by rather quietly. Mexicans outside of the Puebla area may celebrate with family gatherings, some fireworks, and maybe a concert or two in the larger cities.
- The largest Cinco de Mayo party in the world is found in Los Angeles, CA, where it is actually named, “Fiesta Broadway.” This two-week-long fiesta covers 24 square city blocks and hosts over ½ million people annually. It includes, parades, traditional dances, live music, Spanish speeches, storytelling, games, and other Mexican-inspired entertainment. Not to be overlooked, the numerous Mexican restaurants throughout the city offer discounted food and icy cold margaritas.
- Although the sacred drink of Cinco de Mayo is unquestionably the margarita, it is more than likely The Battle at Puebla in 1862 (Cinco de Mayo) actually occurred years before the margarita was invented! Yikes! Yes, depending upon who is telling the story, the earliest the margarita could have been invented is 1938. Carlos “Danny” Herrera, of Tijuana, Mexico, created the cocktail in order to make tequila more palatable for an actress who was allergic to all other types of liquor. Another possible inventor was a Dallas, TX socialite, Margarita Sames, who created the drink in 1948 while vacationing in Acapulco. Her friend, Tommy Hilton, enjoyed her concoction so much that he included it on his hotel bar menu, which eventually made the drink famous. Either way, it’s a good idea to heed the words of Anthony Dias Blue, a Jose Cuervo importer, “Margarita: it’s more than a girl’s name.”
- More than 80 million avocados are consumed in the U.S. on Cinco de Mayo – Holy Guacamole!
- Cinco de Mayo is the perfect day to experiment with crazy recipe ideas – mostly because everyone has been drinking margaritas all day. A few crazy dishes we’ve heard of include: Spicy Papaya Guacamole; Deep-Fried Avocado Taco; Habanero-Honey Margaritas; Lobster Fajitas; Bacon-Wrapped Hotdog Tacos; or maybe the Peanut Butter Tequila Slammer. Whip up your own brand of crazy this year, and be sure to send us your recipes! We would love to share them with the world right here on ScubaLuis.com.
Our motto has always been: if you’ve been given a hand full of limes just juice them up, make a fresh ceviche and blend up some margaritas (or put them in a cold Mexican cerveza) and have a FANTASTIC day anyway!
Feliz Cinco de Mayo!