This Weekend: Cinco de Mayo

Above: Cinco de Mayo, a day for the celebration of Mexican heritage, is this Saturday. The image above is in the archives of Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries and DeGolyer Library. Used under a Creative Commons license.

It's only Tuesday, but perhaps this is a good time to talk about your weekend. Saturday is Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May, a big day for Mexico!  Well, not exactly. Cinco de Mayo is observed principally in Puebla, Mexico and pretty much nowhere else, save for the United States.

Most gringos assume that Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexican independence from Spain, but it actually commemorates the battle of Puebla in 1861, which actually occurred after a French battalion came looking for repayment of a debt -- Napoleon, then the leader of France, would not negotiate and decided to use Mexico's debt as the reason for the incursion, with the real intent of setting up a puppet state in Mexico that would benefit France's interests with Mexico's vast natural resources. The Mexican soldiers numbering 4,000, beat back the invasion of 8,000 French soldiers, in an unlikely victory. The Battle of Puebla was the last time any country in the Americas was invaded by European forces.

In the United States, the day has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture, and there is no shortage of events happening this weekend -- from restaurant specials to fairs and festivals, head over to our calendar as we add events happening in your neighborhood. -- Andrea Girolamo