It's Cinco de Mayo --- or Drinko de Mayo as some say. No one wants to be a jerk - or an insensitive gringo - so before diving head first into the pool of guac, let's go over a few things.
What is Cinco de Mayo?
Cinco de Mayo, which isn’t widely celebrated in Mexico, commemorates an underdog victory over France in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. The victory was galvanizing for the Mexican forces — and for those supporting them from afar — but it was short-lived, as France later occupied Mexico for a few years. Still, Cinco de Mayo continued to be celebrated in Puebla and, perhaps more significantly, by Mexican-Americans north of the border.
Wait. Are you sure it isn't Mexico's Independence Day?
Yup, positive. Mexico's Independence Day is Sept. 16, which is now a national holiday. On that day in 1810, a priest named Miguel Hidalgo implored Mexico to revolt against Spain, leading to the War for Independence, which ended in 1821.
I'm not Mexican. Can I still celebrate?
I'm always in favor of any reason to celebrate. But it's important to appreciate, not appropriate. Respect, not ridicule. Here are some easy ways to tell the difference.
Appreciate vs. Appropriate
Appreciate: learn origins of Cinco de Mayo (which you just did, so well done!)
Appropriate: wearing a giant sombrero. Don't do this. Same goes for the giant mustaches, etc.