Happy Cinco de Mayo, Martinez!
A little history first: this is not the day Mexico celebrates its independence. That is September 16. Cinco de Mayo is observed as the day that 4,000 Mexican troops crushed an 8,000-strong French army invasion. The French, furious at Mexico's refusal to make debt payments, decided to set up a little empire in the New World and landed at Vera Cruz in 1861, causing President Juarez to flee. The French then headed toward Mexico City, confident in their ability to subjegate the inferior forces. But at Puebla, the French were handed a decisive defeat on May 5, 1861. This accomplished two things: it gave the Mexican people a much-needed morale boost, and helped prevent the French from supplying much-needed resources to the Confederate Army in the United States for a year, ultimately helping the Union forces triumph.
In Mexcio, the holiday is celebrated mostly in the Puebla region. It is celebrated throughout the United States, though it is also observed in other parts of the world.
How will you celebrate Cinco de Mayo today? The weather is mild and sunny, so it seems like a good day to celebrate outdoors. At least one restaurant - - is observing the day with food and drink specials. And of course, the winner of the Martinez Patch Readers' Choice Best Burrito - - will undoubtedly be observing today as well.
Whatever you do, please be careful and responsible. Police and the Highway Patrol will be out in force and extra vigilant today.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!