Thinking About Cinco de Mayo

Yesterday as I bought my Starbucks coffee, one of my favorite baristas asked those of us in line and behind the counter if any of us knew why we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States. “No one has been able to give me an answer to that question.” I told him that I assume that it’s because, like St. Patrick’s Day, which is not celebrated on so wide a scale in Ireland as it is in the United States, it provides us with an excuse to celebrate. Hmm… I had to look. Turns out, there is an actual reason for us to celebrate.

First, let’s alleviate the first misconception by people in the U.S. about Cinco de Mayo—it is not a celebration of Mexican Independence, which is on September 16th. Instead, it commemorates the day in 1862 that a group of Mexicans in the town of Puebla defeated the invading French. But why is it important to those of us living in the U.S.? The United States aided Mexico in pushing out the French, and the victory served to inspire the Union soldiers, who began celebrating the day with food and dancing. We’ve been celebrating ever since.

In my place, we celebrated with some tequila shots and some nachos. Viva Cinco de Mayo!

Earlier in the week, I helped my friend celebrate her birthday by making a Margarita Body Scrub for her. I added a bit of lime zest to make it colorful. Not only does it smell delicious, it makes your skin feel really soft and fresh.

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