Thursday, May 5, 2011

May 05 – Cinco de Mayo

As a Solitary Practitioner of Wicca, I believe it's extremely important to be respectful of other cultures, practices, faiths and beliefs – but also to learn about them whenever and wherever you can.

In America, our relationship with Mexico is strained right now, especially in border states, because of the issue of illegal immigration.

My viewpoint about that issue is unimportant to relate here. What is important, is to stress tolerance, acceptance and love, to all – regardless of where your home is located.

So, I salute Mexico, Mexican Americans and Chicanos today on their beloved Cinco de Mayo!
Today is the anniversary of an extremely historic, and vital event for those communities. It was on May 5th in 1862 that 2,000 poorly trained Mexican peasants, under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza, fiercely fought and won the Battle at Puebla against a regiment of 6,000 French soldiers under the command of Napoleon III.

This observance of the Cinco de Mayo victory is a special symbol for all Mexican people and their descendants who celebrate their rights of freedom and liberty, honoring those who fought and won against greater odds.

Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" has come to represent a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism.

With this single victory, Mexico demonstrated to the world that Mexico and all of Latin America were willing to defend themselves against any foreign intervention. Especially those from imperialist states bent on world conquest.

In modern times on the Fifth of May, Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by native Mexican (and frequently American) people everywhere. In Mexico, several towns elaborately reenact the Battle of Puebla in a day-long dramatization that includes acting and speeches.

In America, Cinco de Mayo is an opportunity to celebrate Chicano culture in general, and is celebrated with huge fairs that include Mexican singing, dancing, feasting, costumes, sports activities, fireworks, and entertainment.

You can find the stereotypical Mariachi bands playing, while dancers perform native Mexican dances such as the Mexican Hat Dance and the Raspa.

Speeches and parades also encompass a large part of these celebrations too. But, you can also find more realistic cultural experiences of the rich history of these incredible people if you make the effort.

Participating in, and honoring, these events is a real way to celebrate and renew the friendship between the U.S. and Mexico. Viva Cinco de Mayo!

— Danu's Daughter

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