El Cinco de Mayo. Or the fifth of May for all of you who opted to take French or German in high school instead of Spanish.
It is day worthy of celebration and a true holiday for those who consider themselves Americans. Celebrating Cinco de Mayo embodies American ideals and should be, at the very least, a tradition in California, if not across the whole county of San Luis Obispo.
Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day, however. Mexico was liberated on Sept. 16 back in 1810, in case you want to celebrate that day, too.
Instead, Cinco de Mayo celebrates a Mexican victory against the French when they invaded Mexico in 1867, expecting to take over and place Maximilian of Austria as king (thank you socialstudiesforkids.com). It is important to note that the Mexicans owed the French a lot of money from this little thing called the Mexican-American war.
So, what is wrong with celebrating the underdog?
Well, critics would argue that Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican – not an “everybody” – holiday, and leave it at that. But isn’t mixing of cultures and traditions another great point of American heritage?
Cultural and immigration issues are huge right now. But that should not stop people from celebrating this holiday. I know my relatives did not come to the United States legally, but when they were given the opportunity, they became citizens who held legal jobs, paid taxes and received education for themselves in this country of opportunity.
The problem with America today is not our celebration of holidays but our avoidance of them. The point of holidays is to commemorate the important times in our lives. Anyone who says that they have never had a reason to celebrate, when they have once been an underdog, back as the is lying to you.
Take the opportunity to kick back; ditch class, skip work or flake out on whatever would prohibit you from having a good time, and grab a margarita – or two. It is time to put all differences aside and celebrate the good times in life.
And while you’re at it, be sure to clear your calendar for Chinese New Year, Eid, Hanukah, Bastille Day, Canada Day and Kwanzaa.